The Monorail Map

The goal of the Monorail is to tie together all the big points of interest and attractions in Raleigh, so that visitors (and residents) can get to them easily and conveniently. This map gives you an idea of where the stations might be located:

Here is a list of specific station possibilities as shown in the map:

  • Civic Center/Memorial Auditorium
  • NC Museum of Natural Sciences/State capital
  • Marbles/IMAX
  • NC Museum of Art
  • Fairgrounds
  • RBC Center
  • Carter-Finley Stadium
  • Farmers Market
  • Walnut Creek Amphitheater

  • Crabtree Valley Mall/Marriott
  • Crossroads Mall
  • Cary Towne Center
  • Cameron Village
  • North Hills
  • Highwoods office park
  • SAS
  • 42nd Street Oyster Bar
  • Five Points

  • Airport
  • Amtrak train station (downtown)
  • Amtrak train station (Cary)

  • NCSU
  • Centennial campus
  • Shaw University
  • Peace College
  • Meredeth College
  • St. Augustine's College

  • Pullen Park
  • Lake Johnson
  • Umstead Park
  • Lake Crabtree
  • Shelley Lake

  • Rex Hospital
  • Wake Med east
  • Wake Med west/Regency park
  • Duke Raleigh hospital/Hilton hotel
Because this system goes to so many places, it is likely that just about every convention visitor coming to Raleigh would have a reason to ride the monorail. Visitors would be able to access all of the major attractions in Raleigh very easily.

Cost?

What might a monorail system like this cost? Remember that there is a light rail diesel train system that Raleigh has been contemplating for more than a decade, and it is priced at more than $700 million (funded in large part by taxes and federal dollars). The system mapped above is far more ambitious.

The stations and track in a monorail system are inexpensive compared to light rail. Therefore, it is likely that the monorail system mapped out above would cost approximately the same amount of money as the proposed light rail system. A feasibility study would be able to determine the actual costs.

A Thought Experiment

If you would like to put a majority of Raleigh's and Cary's residents within one mile of a modern monorail station, how many monorail stations would it take? You would space the stations approximately 2 miles apart as shown in this idealized map:

As shown, it would take only 26 stations. Adding stops at the airport and Umstead would make it 28 stations.

The point is that it would be easy to serve a huge number of residents with a relatively small number of stations.

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© Copyright 2008 by Marshall Brain