How Do We Get a New Monorail?

We start with public education

by Bob Fleming

About the Seattle Center Monorail Seattle Center Monorail web site Advantages of monorail My opinions about Seattle area monorail Former Seattle Monorail Project A Proposed Regional Monorail System Arguments against monorail and my responses My ideas for monorail system design My ideas for routes (PRT) Personal Rapid Transit Vocabulary Frequently asked questions Links to other monorail sites Contact me

Other Sites of Mine

A Greater Seattle My mobility web site My transportation web site My mass transit web site The Fleming Family home page

In early 2006 work was to begin on a monorail line linking West Seattle and Ballard to Downtown Seattle, to be completed in 2010. But a poor financing plan and political opposition teamed up to confuse and discourage the public and in November 2005 the project was killed in an election.

But the advantages of the project are so great, is there any way it can be resurrected from the dead?

Let’s face it — the average person does not know much about monorails and the advantages. In 2005 opponents launched a program of misinformation and bad publicity that turned the confused public against the project. Now the thought of a monorail stirs up thoughts of failure and wasted money. Therefore the first step is to educate as many people as possible about the advantages of monorail, and why the previous project failed, and have them tell their friends, etc.

The most informative web site on monorails is (no, not mine!) The Monorail Society. This site has tons of information about monorails: history, types, actual monorail systems (there are quite a few of them), manufacturers, technology, news, and even the lighter side — some model monorails that people built.

There are also some DVDs available that show the versatility of actual monorails. Click here for more information about the DVDs and where to buy them.

There is also a new book by Dick Falkenbury, the man that built public support for the Seattle Monorail project. In his book, Rise Above it All, Mr. Falkenbury “tells all” about how the project got started, got strong public support, and then through mismanagement and politics was finally killed a few months before construction was scheduled to begin. For more about the book and where to buy it, click here. There are a few copies available at the Seattle Public Library.

I plan to buy some of the DVDs and donate them to the Seattle Public Library, but I have to save up some more money first. Once the library has the DVDs I will add that information to this web site and you can check them out and learn a lot!

Once there is enough public support, then somebody should start an initiative to restart the project.

Consider smaller projects to start

On one hand, it would be great to restart (and finish!) the Green Line project. On the other hand, it may be better politically and financially to start with small monorail projects that cost less money and will be finished sooner, leading to increased public enthusiam for larger monorail projects.

Smaller projects could include:

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©2008 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

This page was last updated on 9 May 2016.

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