NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 25, 2005

Seattle's monorail system was partially unveiled at the 1962 World's Fair, and was hailed as the future of mass transit. But the project, which started as a one-mile track 40 years ago, is fraught with steep costs and a lot of skepticism.

CNN reports that even the project's supporters wonder whether the proposed 14-mile Green Line will ever materialize:

  • The project's cost would have paid more than $9 billion in interest on low-grade bonds, more than four times the project's estimated cost.
  • Critics are calling for a new round of bidding, saying the discussions between the monorail board and the only bidder - Cascadia Monorail Co. - were too secretive.
  • Voter fatigue may be setting in, as Seattle residents have voted on the monorail project four times over the past 10 years.

Furthermore, Seattle residents are desperate for plans to alleviate traffic congestion. The Texas Transportation Institute ranked Seattle 12th in the nation for worst congestion during peak driving times.

Source: "Seattle's Monorail Loses its Shine,", July 15, 2005.


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