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Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Letter of the Day

Let’s go for monorail

Letters have been written to The Tampa Tribune suggesting that Tampa should consider or explore creating a monorail system. My question is: Why can’t Tampa do more? Go for monorail, and start a new industry as well. If Malaysia, a developing country, can build and manufacture its own 8.7-kilometer monorail system for the city of Kuala Lumpur, there is no reason why Tampa cannot do the same. Arrangements could be made to bring the Malaysian experience and the design plans to bear on the Tampa monorail project. To start with, the entity entrusted with the task to develop a transit system for Tampa and/or the Tampa Bay area, especially for a monorail system, could begin by soliciting the participation of FSU transportation, electrical and mechanical engineering departments.
The technologies of beam design and construction are well-founded in the U.S. engineering and construction industries. In fact, the beam design and construction of the Malaysian KL monorail were based on U.S. technologies, with the casting molds coming from Portland, Ore. Arrangement also could be made for the participation of a local coach builder of luxury buses/RV vehicles to fabricate the monorail car with detailed parameters given for its design and manufacture. Furthermore, to help demonstrate the application of the monorail technology to urban transportation in the local environment, a locally funded venture capital could be set up to initially develop and construct a single-track monorail system along the beaches to the immediate west of the shoreline of Clearwater and St Petersburg. It would go to demonstrate the pros of the monorail system in the bay area environment. It would certainly help generate new visitors to the beaches. Also, it could become a feature ride into the sunset, with a two-car train carrying about 130 to150 passengers. If a detailed financial evaluation is carried out, it could prove to be quite a viable undertaking. Any takers? Lanney Wenn Dade City

The writer, a retired transportation engineer, spent decades in Asia planning and designing public transportation systems in Calcutta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, including a monorail system.

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