Monorails Might Have a Future After All

For those of you who thought the recent shuttering of Sydney's monorail symbolized the general decline of the once-futuristic transit mode–think again! Sao Paulo is set to open a new 17-mile line, the first segment of a monorail-based transit system.
LimeBye / Flickr

In an article that appeared in Slate a few years ago, Tom Vanderbilt observed that the monorail was becoming "a historical footnote"–ironically at the same time that Streetcars, which had once been tossed into the dust bin of transit history, were enjoying a rebirth. Though the streetcar revival has only picked up speed since Vanderbilt made his observation, the construction of new monorail systems in Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Riyadh and Chongqing seem to indicate that rumors of the transit mode's demise have been greatly exaggerated. 

Kaith Barry reports on the imminent opening of the 17-mile Silver Line in Sao Paulo, just in time for this year's World Cup. "Unlike monorail systems that more tourist attraction than useful transit, the automated Silver Line is designed to move 48,000 passengers each hour each way between two major suburbs when it opens in March," he explains. "The monorail was a good solution for a city that had to solve transportation issues in a hurry: Digging more underground tunnels would have been too expensive, and streets were already too clogged for enhanced bus service."

Full Story: The Monorail Gets a Second Life in São Paulo


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95