News Archive

10/12/03: We'd like to give a special 'thank you' to everyone who visited our booth at the highly successful Austin Green Festival, October 11th and 12th, 2003. We'd like to share a few  Green Festival Photos that we took and also remind you of a few ways in which you can make a difference. Visit our new web page Green Festival Photo webpage.

10/12/03: Coming soon, a new article:  Monorail does NOT have to cost $150 million / mile- the TRUTH about monorail costs- an in-depth article.

10/07/03: Utah TRAX light rail maintenance depot personnel joke about the light rail cars colliding with automobiles: "Take Car 1016 for example. For whatever reason, this particular car has been involved in four separate accidents, Wilson said. "We've thought about treating cars like fighter jets, you know, putting little cars on the side of them," Wilson said, laughing."

Do you think this is funny? We don't. Read this otherwise informative article about TRAX maintenance in this deseretnews.com article.

10/06/03: Check out this Ultimate Monorail picture. And you thought that the Las Vegas Monorail was extravagant! Thanks for a keen-eyed reader who posted the URL to this artists rendering on the Yahoo! Groups : theMONORAILsociety discussion group.

10/03/03: New Article:

'Some Thoughts on Rapid Mass Transit in Austin', by Jim Mareck (.pdf)

9/29/03: View our latest Austin Monorail Presentation in Adobe Acrobat format (Warning! Large file! 7.5 MB). This has all the latest information about the benefits of elevated Monorail for Austin and summarizes the latest Monorail developments in the United States.

9/29/03: Pinellas County, Florida's 'MPO Board Steering Commitee' voted on June 11th to incorporate a 38-mile monorail system as the main element of a county-wide transit system, with a further planned expansion to 51 miles. This would easily be the longest monorail in the United States (until our planned Austin system opens!). Keep up to date with the Pinellas Mobility Initiative website.

9/10/03: 'The goal of implementing a mass transit system is not to accomplish a quick and great traffic reliever'. So begins a letter from Mr. Austan Librach, Director of the Austin Transportation, Planning, and Sustainability Department in a letter to a private citizen regarding Monorail and mass transit.

We disagree. We believe that any mass transit system for which the taxpayers are forking over approximately $1 billion should provide immediate relief from traffic congestion. And Monorail can foster transit-oriented-development (TOD) just as well as light rail can. Read more about it here.

Letter from Mr. Librach

9/10/03: The newly formed Orlando Monorail Project has a great website with a wonderful flash animation.  Check it out!

9/9/03: New version of our Spanish language Monorail Flyer (1.0 MB) is now available! Please help us by printing out and distributing our flyers to community bulletin boards and other venues.

8/16/03: What's the single best way to support Monorail in Austin? Write a letter to your city council member in support of Monorail!

8/16/03: New version of our Monorail Flyer (v3.0) available now!

8/15/03: Las Vegas Monorail has greatly enhanced their website.

8/12/03: Who says that monorail can't enhance the urban environment? Check out these beautiful visualizations from Seattle!

Seattle Monorail Project Visualizations

8/06/03: Article in Seattle Times: What monorail might look like downtown. This shows the new 'fluted column' concept. Check it out!

8/02/03: Austin Monorail Project has two openings: webmaster and database administrator. If you have interest in either of these positions, please send email to info@AustinMonorail.org

7/21/03: The Monorail Society has just released their Monorails of Japan DVD set. We have already viewed it and it is awesome! Please check it out!

6/20/03: We frequently mention Las Vegas as an example of a modern US monorail. Las Vegas has recently approved their downtown extension, which is partially funded by the Federal government. See coverage of this at the Monorail Society homepage.

6/02/03: Interesting article: Can Light Rail Carry the Load?

5/14/03: NJ Mayor protests light rail moving at up to 60 mph in the streets 'far faster than the speed limit on the avenue and adjacent residential streets'. See this recent article. We believe that this is exactly why elevated monorail makes sense: light rail running up to 60 mph in the city streets will be too dangerous; if run no faster than street traffic, it will be too slow. Elevated monorail has no such speed or safety restrictions.

4/30/03: Added article about high-strength, low-cost concrete in Texas.

4/30/03: Updated links to Seattle and Las Vegas Monorails (lower left of this page). Fixed broken links.

4/22/03: A recent memo by Senior Planner Katie Larsen in the City of Austin Department of Transportation, Planning and Sustainability, advocates 'actively changing' driving habits through forced elimination of parking downtown. Read about the controversy on 590 KLBJ Forums - "Great Streets for Austin". The Austin Monorail Project believes that elevated Monorail gives citizens what they want:  more mobility, not less- less being the choice that the City of Austin appears to be giving its citizens with light rail. Decide for yourself.

4/22/03: Back in August, 2000, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce produced a Light Rail White Paper produced by their 'Blue Ribbon Task Force' . Their conclusion about the previous light rail proposal?

'The Capital Metro LRT proposal is not likely to have a substantial impact on traffic congestion
and air quality in the short term..'

Decide for yourself. Read the white paper. But please keep in mind that when this white paper was written, Monorail was never considered as a rapid transit solution. We believe that Monorail can make a substantial impact on traffic congestion and air quality in the short term and still provide all the long-term benefits of transit-oriented development (more on this subject in the near future).

1/31/03: We are now accepting contributions through PayPal (see 'Make a Donation' link on the left). Please help us support monorail in Austin!

1/20/03: Bumper Sticker Contest- Elliot Kralj has been awarded our $25 prize for his entry, 'I'd Rather Monorail- www.AustinMonorail.org. Congratulations, Elliot, and thanks for your entry! Update: We will be making a limited number of these bumper stickers available on our website soon- stay tuned, and thanks again to everyone who entered!

11/19/02: Final Victory in Seattle? Pro-monorail again leading by 868 votes:

  Yes?  94787   50.23 %

  No?   93919   49.77 %

According to Bob Roegner, manager of King County Records, Elections and Licensing Services,  while a handful of votes remained to be counted, "there are not enough votes to change the result."

"It's over. We build the monorail," said Tom Weeks, chairman of the board of Elevated Transportation Company. " It's a great day for the city. It's a grass-roots movement that's going to change the face of the city forever."


'It's Over -- We Build The Monorail'

King County Election Website

Monorail Society News Page

11/02/02: Our monorail flyer is now available in Spanish (631 KB).

10/31/02: Has anyone noticed that our beautiful city is being choked to death through traffic congestion?

10/25/02: The vote for Seattle's proposed monorail now less than two weeks away, on Nov. 5th. Visit the Seattle ETC's website here to keep up to date on the latest news.

10/24/02: Listen to a brief news-clip from KPLU on how Seattle is planning to get Federal funding for future lines after their initial 14 mile line is built with bond revenue. Listen to the news clip here.  Their plan is similar to  Las Vegas obtaining 30% of their funding from the Feds for the second phase of the Las Vegas monorail project, with the first phase being privately funded. The FTA official spokeswoman  says that so far, [the Seattle Monorail] 'looks to be a strong competitor nationally'.

10/16/02: We want to extend a special 'thanks' to all those who volunteered to help us or who took our survey. We ARE listening to your comments! Leaving us your email or other contact infomation  will help us provide feedback to you on your questions. We will soon be rolling out more information on how to help us for those of you who generously volunteered. And we will be posting selected articles from our member-only newsletters on our website. View our first selected article, 'Monorail and the Great Streets Program: A Great Fit'

10/15/02: We've had some great responses, but we are extending our Bumper Sticker Contest through 12/31/02 to get even more entries!

10/03/02: Read this great article on the new Las Vegas Monorail in Mass Transit Magazine:

A Showpiece for a Showplace: the Las Vegas monorail

10/02/02: Happy Birthday AMP! The informal beginning of the Austin Monorail Project began one year ago as a Yahoo! Discussion Group

9/27/02: Another light rail accident: Train Operator Killed After New Rail System to Kennedy Derails (NY Times- Free registration required). Of Note: Elevated automated light rail system- vehicle made by Bombardier. $1.9 Billion 8.1 mile system designed to operate at up to 60 miles an hour with no driver aboard and with computers controlling stops, starts, doors, temperature and other functions. Note that derailment is almost impossible with monorail as its wheels grip each side of the beam as well as riding on top.

9/11/02: Seattle's 'Rise Above it All' organization has sponsored a Monorail poster contest. See their winning entry at their site here.

9/9/02: We've rescanned our Oak Hill Gazette article to make it easier to read (Adobe Acrobat .pdf Files, warning: large files: 2 MB each): Page 1, Page 2, Page 3

8/12/02: Would you like to win $25? The AMP announces our new bumper sticker contest. Can you come up with a great slogan to promote Monorail here in Austin?

8/12/02: Is Monorail really futuristic? Here's an artist's conception of a Monorail proposed by Bilger Monorail International, of Chicago, IL, circa 1950 (we believe). Click on the thumbnail image below to load this 920 KB file.

8/12/02: We've added a new Monorail presentation in Microsoft Powerpoint format on our Documents page.

8/7/02: The AMP website has not been updated lately due to a server upgrade. Our development server now sports a 500 GB Level-5 RAID Array.

7/04/02: AMP has been featured in ETCetera, the newsletter for the Friends of the Seattle Monorail. The current (and past) issues of ETCetera can be found on their newsletter webpage. Please visit the Friends of the (Seattle) Monorail webpage for excellent information on the Monorail effort in Seattle and Monorails in general.

6/10/02: Did you know that the national average speed of light rail systems in FY2000 was 15.3 MPH? Monorail, being grade separated, can safely reach over three times the average speed of light rail in dense urban areas. Monorail puts the 'rapid' back into Rapid Transit. Read our analysis here.

6/05/02: The latest version of our Monorail Flyer v2.0 is available here in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format (754 KB). Feel free to print and distribute them to your friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 required- Download reader for free here.

6/05/02: We applaud the decision by the Cap Metro Board to delay the referendum until 2004 so that a 'clear and sensible transit plan for the region' can be developed. We look forward to working with the new President/CEO of Cap Metro, Mr. Fred Gilliam, the Cap Metro Board, and Cap Metro itself in deciding 'which technologies are best for this region'. The memorandum from Mr. Fred Gilliam, President and CEO of Cap Metro to the Cap Metro Board may be found on the Cap Metro website here.

5/30/02: We have updated our Proposed Route to include East Austin, the Mueller Airport redevelopment, and to insure compliance with the Capitol view corridors. Stay tuned for an update on our Capitol view corridor compliance.

5/30/02: According to the Austin American Statesman, Light rail won't be on ballot this year

5/1/02: Check out the websites for KL Monorail (Kuala Lumpur) and Monorail Malaysia!

4/26/02: Frank C  Schleicher, PE and Michael DiBrino, AMP Founder, join the National Standardized Monorail Association Board of Directors

4/23/02: The Las Vegas Monorail will be 'America's first urban monorail built on a grand scale'. But forget the glitz; this Monorail is all about rapid transit and mobility. Read about it here in this Washington Post article.

4/22/02: See this new technical paper on Metal to Metal Maintenance  of 'steel flanged wheels riding on steel running rails', by Mr. Joel B. Marsel.

4/17/02: Why Monorail REALLY isn't being considered for Austin

4/14/02: It was a "bone-chilling" screech, says Salt Lake City resident David Johnson referring to the University of Utah's light rail line. 'The train's steel wheels, rubbing against curved steel rails, would scream out, Johnson said'. "It was unbearable." 'How do officials plan to fix this? Crews, equipped with buckets and brushes, go out once a week to "lubricate" the inside edge of TRAX's tracks through the S-curve.'  "We're still experimenting with a vegetable-based oil and a graphite mixture," said UTA rail-services director Paul O'Brien. Read about it here

4/14/02: It's happened again: Another light rail accident in Utah.

4/12/02: The Austin Chronicle has run a small article on us in their April 12th-18th issue.

4/10/02: We've obtained permission from the Oak Hill Gazette to post their cover story on the Austin Monorail Project here (594 KB pdf). Additional copies may still be available for a limited time by directly contacting the Oak Hill Gazette at 512-301-0123.

4/09/02: We've posted a few pictures of us at the local Democratic and Republican Conventions on April 6th.

4/08/02: We have obtained exclusive photos of light rail construction in Houston and the business closed along the route

4/08/02: Our new Austin Monorail Flyer is now available! (849 KB pdf file)- Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 required- Download reader for free here

4/05/02: Seattle Monorail's  Elevated Transit Company (ETC) has been a model of how a grass-roots organization can succeed and how public input can be heard. See how the level of public input to the ETC greatly exceeds any city transit organization promoting light rail. Because the Seattle Monorail is an example of how Monorail can be developed in Austin, we've added a section in the lower left corner of this page to update our readers on the latest happenings in Seattle.

4/01/02: Revised The Problem with HOV in the Southwest Corridor and How this is Solved with Monorail

3/29/02: We are the cover story in the March 29th issue of the Oak Hill Gazette (vol 8, Number 12). Please pick up a copy of their newspaper at your local Southwest area grocery store!

3/25/02: We've developed a short Microsoft Powerpoint presentation for merchants and small businesses which addresses 'Why Monorail' and 'How Monorail will help Merchants'. Feel free to download it here (1.0 MB).

3/18/02: Added Analysis of How the Texas State Capitol View Corridors  Affects the Proposed Monorail Route

3/17/02: Our new Membership page is now online! Join us as a contributing member and help support Monorail in Austin! Or, donate your time to the Project by leaving us your contact information here.

3/14/02: New Kuala Lumpur Monorail Photos, courtesy of the Elevated Transportation Company (ETC). This is a good example of what elevated Monorail  might look like in Austin.

3/5/02: Updated What Cap Metro is Not Telling You About LRT vs. Monorail Costs..' to show all 2001 'New Starts ' LRT systems to insure fair cost comparison vs. monorail.

3/02/02: Added page on light rail disruption of businesses during construction; Updated page on Safety

2/21/02: Revised 'What Cap Metro is Not Telling You About LRT vs. Monorail Costs..' (Part 1 of 3)

2/18/02: Updated proposed route map and new southwest corridor solution

2/16/02: Some fun Monorail pictures from Walt Disney World!

2/16/02: Spread the word about Monorail in Austin with our new Bumper Stickers!

2/8/02: It's happened again. Another light rail accident in Salt Lake City: TRAX Train Cuts Small Car in Two; Occupants Survive

2/7/02: Tell us what you think! Take our new survey!

1/15/02: DMJM+Harris Monorail Technology Assessment. A Must Read!- For Montgomery County Dept. of Public Works and Transportation, by DMJM+Harris. The study concludes as follows (our emphasis in bold):

'Although there is uncertainty about the reliability of the monobeam technologies still under development, the existing systems have demonstrated a sufficient record of reliability and
effectiveness.
'

'..monobeam technologies are capable of providing operating speeds and passenger capacities comparable to those of other modes of premium transit. They are also have a demonstrated history of reliable operations. Moreover, there are a sufficient number of monorail vendors with a proven history of operations to minimize some of the risks associated with introducing a new technology to the regional transportation network.'

 

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Last updated: 10/24/03.