Wachs Expresses Skepticism About L.A. Monorail Project

Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning Martin Wachs spoke to Forbes about the possible construction of a high-speed monorail in Los Angeles. Local officials are evaluating proposals for a $6.1 billion monorail that would aim to reduce traffic congestion in the city. Transit systems in Germany, Japan, China and India use monorails, but the Los Angeles project would be the first in the United States. Wachs is skeptical but open to the possibility that a monorail could work in Los Angeles. “When you actually work out the numbers and do a careful and thorough design, and consider that in most places where a transit route is being contemplated it’s being added to an existing network, it just hasn’t penciled out,” he said. Wachs recalled working with science fiction author Ray Bradbury on a monorail proposal that was rejected 50 years ago. “The world’s a better place for having people who are visionaries, but it also needs traditional engineers.”

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