How About a Monorail, Metro?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

I am not an engineer, an architect or a transportation expert. But in reading the extensive articles about the extension of the Metro system from West Falls Church to Dulles International Airport, I wonder whether anyone has ever given thought to the monorail. Seattle, for example, has shown that monorail can be an efficient, comfortable and inexpensive system for commuters and tourists.

Germany, Britain, Italy, Russia, Japan, Singapore, China, Thailand, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Australia have monorails. There must be a sound reason so many nations have turned to this mode of mass transit.

Monorail would be a cheaper way to extend Metro than the two solutions proposed: completely aboveground, and partially above and underground (through Tysons Corner). Monorails, from what I read, are less expensive to build, maintain and operate.The pylons on which the Seattle monorail rests also are a great deal more attractive and occupy less surface space than the ones supporting Metrorail tracks.

Would not the Washington area benefit from a modern, attractive mass-transit system that would reflect 21st-century thinking?

HOWARD G. NEUBERG

Gaithersburg


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