A Monorail for LA? Really?

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to build a monorail in the city. His reasoning is they are cheaper to build than subways but won’t face interference from traffic like light rail.

Despite futurist fantasies of the past, there are only a few monorails in the world, and most are in Japan. There are good reasons why no other American cities emulated the Seattle World’s Fair monorail: they are ugly, expensive, slow, and don’t move very many people. A monorail in India fit the Antiplanner’s definition of high-cost, low-capacity transit.

By coincidence, two days after the mayor announced the monorail idea, Disney World had to shut down its monorail when parts began to fall off of it onto the rail. With shared, driverless cars right around the corner, the last thing Los Angeles needs is a new kind of infrastructure it won’t be able to maintain, but last November the mayor persuaded that spending $120 billion on transit would relieve congestion (it won’t), so they might as well blow it on something ridiculous.

Note: The Antiplanner caught a bug in Atlanta which really knocked me out yesterday, which is why this post is late and short.

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3 thoughts on “A Monorail for LA? Really?

  1. CapitalistRoader

    I’ve taken the Las Vegas monorail a few times, back and forth between the convention center and the Tropicana station. Slow. Ridiculously slow.

  2. Frank

    “The Antiplanner caught a bug in Atlanta which really knocked me out yesterday”

    Hope you feel better soon.

    “There are good reasons why no other American cities emulated the Seattle World’s Fair monorail: they are ugly, expensive, slow, and don’t move very many people.”

    Although since Seattle’s Monorail is a historical tourist attraction, it actually makes a profit.

  3. Dave Brough

    CapitalistRoader claims he’s taken the Las Vegas monorail a few times, back and forth between the convention center and the Tropicana station (and found it) “Slow. Ridiculously slow.”
    Really? I live in Vegas and often take the Monorail “back and forth between the Convention Center and the Tropicana station (aka MGM station).” Why? First, because it’s cheap (free parking and a buck a ride for locals), and second, because it’s not slow at all. In fact it’s the fastest way to get between the two locations.
    YouTube a trip between the two locations and you’ll find that Monorail takes about 14 minutes, regardless of the time of day or the snarled traffic below (one advantage of Monorail is that it has its own dedicated guideway. Station stops vary, typically between 20 and 30 seconds. Another is its safety record — the highest of any transportation).
    Google Map the same trip by car and you’ll find it up to twice as long.
    The only thing ‘rediculous’ about this Monorail is where it’s located and finding it.

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