Yes, monorails. Now I’m not proposing that Mickey Mouse run for Mayor or that we install the giant Epcot Center Ball in Times Square – although there are parts of NYC that resemble the tourist traps of Disney World and the ride inside the Epcot Center Ball “Journey Into The Imagination” is my second favorite ride next to the Hall of Presidents – so I’m not completely against it. But I am proposing leveraging some of the Disney transportation genius to enhance the commute for the citizens of the great City of New York.
New York City should have monorails in 3 places, if not more: the Westside Highway, the FDR and up and down the middle of that little strip of land that divides the two sides of Park Avenue.
Why? Well to start, we need more public transportation in New York and we need a more “high-class” means, if you will, to attract the affluent audience that lives in New York City. The bus has a negative stigma and New Yorkers constantly complain that our subways are nowhere near as nice as the trains that our Asian and European counterparts ride.
Here is where it gets even more interesting and someone is going to have to check my math, but the computations I have done so far in my non-mathematical mind give me confidence that this can work.
I truly believe that New Yorkers would pay a premium to ride above ground. I am no transportation engineer, but putting in monorails could be highly cost-effective too.
As fond of it as I am, the subway is dirty, underground and severely outdated. My primary inspiration for riding the subway since I got to New York was and still remains Al Pacino’s wisdom he imparts upon Keanau Reeves in The Devil’s Advocate when he says, “learn the subways my friend, it’s the fastest way around New York.” And it usually is. Unfortunately it’s not always the most luxurious or visually appealing. I think our peers would pay $4 per ride, maybe even $5 to stay above ground during their commute. There is just something about going underground that seems scary and creates additional unnecessary stress among all the others that we New Yorkers face on a daily basis.
Now again, I am no engineer and I haven’t exactly priced this out yet, but it seems that installing monorails would be significantly easier and less expensive than trying to finally build the 2nd Avenue Subway line. There is no digging involved (just ask Bostonians how fun this can be). We don’t need to build complicated systems below ground, which I can’t imagine is easy. Essentially, all we have to do is buy some posts, construct a few platforms, put some shiny new trains on them, and run them up and down the city.
I realize I am drastically over simplifying this process, but it drives home the point that this probably isn’t nearly as hard as building subways.
And we won’t have to go underground to go on the subway.
And we can generate more revenue for the MTA.
And we can do this faster than building new subway lines.
And we can provide more scenic and less stressful above-ground transportation for New Yorkers.
So Mayor Bloomberg, in addition to all the amazing things you have done for our city since you became Mayor, and in all my hopes that you run for President in 2016, can you please do one more awesome thing and start a campaign for the new New York City Monorail System?