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Two issues came to mind while reading your article on monorails (“The Little Monorail That Could,” 3/7):
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First, regardless of rail type, where do you want transit to go? Do you want to connect centers of activity or centers of parking lots? A line between Bethesda and Silver Spring would serve the two largest centers of activity in Montgomery County, and most users would walk to the station. A line on top of or outside the Beltway would have more of the patrons drive to the station. As a pedestrian advocate, I could write pages about why walkable stations like Bethesda are inherently more valuable than parking lot stations such as Shady Grove and Vienna.
Second, if monorail is so cheap that it will not need any subsidy, why is the private sector not offering to build it here with private financing? If a credible venture capitalist came to the county with private money in hand ready to build a monorail line, asking nothing in return but the right to operate it and keep the fare-box revenue, I would take the monorail claims for economy much more seriously.
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