Potential Obstacles Facing Monorail Promotion

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This page is targeted primarily at people and organizations that want to promote a monorail in their area. Beware! There are a number of obstacles that you may encounter, so be prepared to meet these challenges and overcome them:

The General Public: You may be sold on building a monorail in your area, but almost everybody else has very little knowledge about monorails and think that mass transit means subways, commuter trains, light rail, streetcars, and buses. Monorails aren't part of their picture — maybe an amusement ride in Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but nothing practical for mass transit. So one of your biggest challenges is to educate the general public that there are larger size monorails that are built for mass transit, and to show why in your case a monorail would be better than the other means of mass transit. One good place to get information is at The Monorail Society’s page, “Monorail Vs. Other”.

Media: The general public gets much of their information, and is heavily influenced by, what they read in the newspapers and see on television. Therefore it is very important to get the local media on your side, and to get information into the local media about your proposal and the advantages to the people in your area. What the newspapers print and what TV stations show is influenced by local politicians and business leaders, so it is important to sway politicians in your favor and to write letters to the editor or otherwise counter opposition to your proposal.

Politicians: Politicians can be heavily influenced by others, especially those that contribute to their campaigns for election. Usually those that contribute the most are business leaders, labor unions, various companies, and others that favor the views or beliefs of the politician, or want to influence his or her political actions. Some politicians may agree with your monorail plans, but others may oppose it, either because they don’t really understand the advantages of a monorail, or because the monorail project would conflict with the interests of supporters. For example one of their main financial contributors might be the construction industry that would profit more from a light rail project than they would from a monorail.

Mass Transit Companies or Agencies: If there is already one or more mass transit systems in your area, they may oppose a monorail because they may want to reserve the right to expand their own system along or near your proposed monorail route. They may also claim that monorail would be incompatible with their system, for example passengers would have to transfer from light rail to monorail. However in most cases someone usually has to transfer anyway from one light rail line to another.

Construction Industry: You may very well face opposition from the construction industry because monorail involves less construction than other rail systems, therefore construction companies will need to put in much more work to build a subway, commuter rail, or light rail project, and therefore earn much more money.

Labor Unions: Other rail systems require more construction, over a longer period of time, than a monorail system. Therefore. a monorail system would require fewer workers, over a shorter period of time, than other rail systems. For this reason labor unions amd construction workers may fight a monorail alternative to other rail systems. Also, modern monorail systems can operate under computer control without a driver, so transit unions may oppose monorail. (By the way, if a driverless monorail sounds scary, think of it as a horizontal elevator — most modern elevators have no operator but are very safe.)

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©2013 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

This page was last updated on 1 January 2015

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