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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 1:30 AM
N830MH N830MH is offline
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Monorail connecting Miami and Miami Beach

https://www.local10.com/news/local/2...hAZpZEC0yYLBpY

A monorail connecting Miami and Miami Beach? County agrees to fund planning.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 3:03 AM
Djesus777 Djesus777 is online now
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Can't wait to see how many decades this takes lol.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 4:57 AM
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Monorails are stupid. Theyre the transit equivalent of flying cars.
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 4:42 PM
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Miami would then have commuter rail, higher speed rail, heavy rail, people mover, and a monorail. Hyperloop or Maglev is next!
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 4:48 PM
thoughtcriminal thoughtcriminal is offline
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Miami would then have commuter rail, higher speed rail, heavy rail, people mover, and a monorail. Hyperloop or Maglev is next!
I dunno, I think this may be more of a Shelbyville idea...
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 6:23 PM
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Sigh, people always trot out the Simpsons meme.

This may in fact be a good use for monorail. Most of the route is over water, so it's gonna be elevated on structure regardless of what technology is used (and monorail is the least visually imposing kind of guideway and quietest). It is not, nor does it need to be, part of a larger metropolitan system so the usual concerns about switching, branching, etc are moot.

I really don't see how this is different than the way Japan uses monorails, as a medium capacity solution where an expensive metro line isn't warranted, *or where waterfronts make underground construction difficult*. And the Miami line would be tourist oriented to boot.

The only question is on the Miami Beach end - the tourist area (and employment area) is spread out and likely requires several stations to serve it effectively. Are Miami Beach residents willing to accept an elevated guideway running along major streets on their island, Alton Road or Washington Ave? If not, then a monorail is a poor solution as it will never be extended past Alton Road. This kind of stub terminal is a horrible idea unless there are firm and realistic plans for further extension, because with the monorail technology the future extensions cannot run at grade.
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Last edited by ardecila; Oct 21, 2020 at 6:41 PM.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 8:16 PM
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Well said, Ardecila. Monorails are a perfectly legitimate choice for transit depending on the location and the need. People love to use the Las Vegas monorail to dunk on the ineffectiveness of monorails, but the facts are that even though the monorail is super short and was built on a sub-optimal ROW (behind the strip instead of on it), it is still one of the very, very few transit systems in the world that is *occasionally* profitable. Profitable! Imagine that!

Connecting an island to the transit system on the mainland seems perfectly reasonable to me.

(Also, I too am very tired of the Simpsons monorail memes. I can't understand how people still think they funny.)

That said, there are some potential problems I see.
  1. The stub-end station at Miami Beach, as Ardecila already pointed out. Extending it down 5th street to the beach would only mean another 2,800 feet of track, but it would make a massive difference in the utility of the line.
  2. On the other end of the line, the monorail ends at a people mover station, presumably the Museum Park station. If they were to extend it another ~4,000 feet along I-395 then south along the FEC Railway, they could terminate at MiamiCentral! Connections to Metrorail, TriRail, the people mover, and even Brightline. Why on earth would you cut your line short of that kind of juicy connection? Do you want this line to fail?

That's it, actually. I was expecting to be upset by the poor frequency, but 12 departures per hour means a train every 5 minutes, which I like. 300-person capacity every 5 minutes means 3,600 people per hour per direction, which is about as good as many light rail lines get.
It also only takes two trains to run the line, meaning they can avoid the classic problem of monorails: switching. Each train can stay on its own track throughout the day, and the switches only need to operate when trains enter or exit service.

So I think a monorail is a very good choice for this route, with the caveat that they make the line about 1 mile longer to make better connections on either end. If they don't, then they'll have another Las Vegas monorail situation - a monorail to nowhere that people will hold up as an example of poor public transit infrastructure for many years to come.

The stats (from the article):
  • Expected delivery date: 2026
  • Length: The monorail would extend approximately 3.45 miles on the south side of the MacArthur Causeway.
  • Capacity: There would be two trains constantly operating, with one spare, each holding up to 300 riders.
  • Speed: The trains would run at 50mph, serving 12 trips per hour
  • Fares: The consortium would work with the county to set a fare that provides the best value for residents and is integrated into existing ridership programs.
  • Connectivity: The monorail’s mainland transit hub would serve as a stop for the County Bus and People Mover.
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 9:11 PM
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Pretty awful idea. A person taking the short trip from Airport to South Beach would have to take the airport train to the metrorail station, take the metrorail to the metromover station, take the metromover to this monorail station which then just lets them across the bay to South Beach to get off at a single stop in South Beach (they would need some other transportation once there..uber, bus...etc). All while carrying luggage. A single integrated transit system is just too much to ask. Thats the problem with all these private/public partnership things. Each line ends up being a totally different mode of transit with no transfers between them.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 9:47 PM
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^ After reviewing the "Preferred Alternative" in the City's study, I'm against the monorail as proposed.

https://www.miamidade.gov/transit/li...rtp-report.pdf

There is no direct monorail connection to Brightline, Metrorail or Tri-Rail. The downtown end terminates at Genting's waterfront property, which is good for them but bad for Miami. The existence of a Metromover connection doesn't mean anyone will use this complicated, convoluted system.

On the Miami Beach end the study DOES call for the line to extend down 5th to Washington, but basically rules out any further extension up Washington because the corridor is protected by National Register designation (not a dealbreaker necessarily but opens the project up to legal challenges). The private proposal for the monorail doesn't include the section down 5th Ave though.

So yeah, kill it. Do a light rail system that has better connections in Miami and better coverage in Miami Beach. The cost estimate is only slightly higher than the monorail but the upside is huge.
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2020, 11:09 PM
N830MH N830MH is offline
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Originally Posted by Djesus777 View Post
Can't wait to see how many decades this takes lol.
Actually, it's been over two decades now. They have been studying for a very long time.
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2020, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Sigh, people always trot out the Simpsons meme.
yes, not because I thought it was cutting edge humor; just the opposite. precisely *because* it is a cliche at this point is what makes it relevant. monorails are *still* a boondoggle, and the fact that people are still proposing them 30+ years after the Simpsons mocked them is what is funny.
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2020, 3:23 PM
Djesus777 Djesus777 is online now
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Actually, it's been over two decades now. They have been studying for a very long time.
I am aware lol, I live here. Although when the half-penny tax was implemented it was for a LRT and not necessarily a monorail. Two decades later and they announce a half-assed transit system. Knowing Miami, it won't happen for a while (if at all)
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2020, 9:29 PM
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Originally Posted by thoughtcriminal View Post
yes, not because I thought it was cutting edge humor; just the opposite. precisely *because* it is a cliche at this point is what makes it relevant. monorails are *still* a boondoggle, and the fact that people are still proposing them 30+ years after the Simpsons mocked them is what is funny.
Again, look at Japan's systems.

Monorails *are* valid tools in the transportation toolbox under certain conditions, they offer the speed of a metro but less capacity at a lower cost. They are great for one-off transit lines to serve a single destination or neighborhood, and poor for whole city-wide networks. They do not offer the flexibility to run at grade, and running them in tunnels is possible but very expensive.

They are not a panacea, clearly despite what some folks think. And they have to be planned with the bigger picture in mind, with strong connections to other modes and stations in good locations. US monorails are usually sponsored by corporations so they serve certain private property very well, and serve the broader city poorly. That isn't because the technology is bad, it's because corporate sponsorship is bad.
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2020, 2:31 AM
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Monorails are Exhibit A, well maybe Exhibit B after Hyperloop, of our societies "always pregnant with the future" mentality.
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2020, 6:27 AM
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Nah, Monorails are cool. There are several monorail systems that have been operating successfully for over 50 years now. Overeager futurism? Bah!
As I said before, so long as the monorail extends to MiamiCentral, I don't think it's a bad idea. The issue of transferring between modes is a non-issue, really, because even on fully integrated transit systems (ie, any vehicle can go on any route), service is very rarely arranged in a way that gives direct service. There will always be transfers between, say, a 'blue line' and a 'green line,' and it makes little difference if one line has one rail while the other has two. There are many, many transit networks where different Metro lines use completely different systems between modes.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2020, 5:14 AM
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What bothers me about this is the following:

They come from the Miami Beach Monorail Consortium, the main investor of which is Meridiam, the development firm that also managed the PortMiami tunnel project.
Miami-Dade County commissioners decided Tuesday to enter into a $14 million interim agreement with the consortium to fund a year and a half of engineering and design planning work. Not all community stakeholders were on board, but the item ultimately passed by a 10-2 vote.


Why does a private company need Government funding for this? As for the "engineering and design planning work" they could just dust off the more than a dozen studies done on the same route that the County has funded. Hell just hand over the plans for Baylink which we were promised back in 2002 when we passed the local Transit tax and have done NOTHING since then.
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  #17  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 3:31 PM
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well if they are going this far and mb does not like it, they could always bury the monorail for a few stops along meridian or alton in miami beach.

so add subway to the miami transit tick it off list!
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2020, 4:53 PM
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Sure, build an extra-large tunnel to fit monorail inside, just feet from the beach on a low-lying barrier island that will only face more and more challenges with flooding in the future. What could go wrong?

I don't think underground is necessary in Miami Beach but if they're gonna do that they may as well just use regular metro technology rather than a monorail. Putting monorail underground defeats the entire purpose, there are no cost savings and you can't reap the noise/aesthetic benefits of elevated monorail structures.
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  #19  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2020, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Sure, build an extra-large tunnel to fit monorail inside, just feet from the beach on a low-lying barrier island that will only face more and more challenges with flooding in the future. What could go wrong?

I don't think underground is necessary in Miami Beach but if they're gonna do that they may as well just use regular metro technology rather than a monorail. Putting monorail underground defeats the entire purpose, there are no cost savings and you can't reap the noise/aesthetic benefits of elevated monorail structures.

or, you know, sure, build a monorail out there.
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