What is being proposed is the addition of an aerial podcar option to the transport mix. The alternatives are:
(a) to introduce a monorail network;
(b) to support car sharing;
(c) to support driver-less cars;
(d) to improve public transport infrastructure;
(e) to introduce road pricing;
(f) to improve the infrastructure for cars;
(g) to introduce a supported podcar network;
(h) to introduce an aerial podcar network.
(i) to introduce drones.
Many of these alternatives exist with a multiplicity of options and correspondingly different character. A representative version has been adopted for each alternative, so that it can be evaluated. The comparison is based on the requirements for Melbourne plus rural service. But in the end, only one option has any reasonable prospect of meeting the objectives.
Elevated two-way monorail tracks would have substantial and expensive structures, but with narrower track than trains, suitable only for a network of principal routes, 1,300km in length, similar to the Metropolitan route numbering system, on a 1.5km grid, with grade separation of cross routes, 4,000 elevated stops with lifts, and the “last mile” serviced by 700km of feeder modes such as local buses. Flat vertical alignment dictates elevated stops. Vehicles will have high capacity, precluding personal routes, and requiring change of vehicle, in addition to changes for feeder modes. They will have serial and frequent stops, limiting capacity and trip speed. The structures will reduce the capacity of arterial roads. Monorail will not be able to attract many people away from cars because of cost, reliability, including of route interchange connections, and trip time. It is similar to elevated light rail.
As a result, Monorail will:
* have many more crashes, and minimal diverted trips;
* have no monitoring, increased exposure during travel, at vehicle change, and when waiting, so will greatly increase assaults;
* not improve amenity by reducing car traffic, but will destroy any remaining amenity by increasing visual blight with oppressive structures, and retaining pollution;
* not remove congestion, but make it much worse by reducing capacity;
* not make trip times faster, but make congested car trips much slower and stopping all stations is 3 times slower;
* not generate extra revenue, but will create a continual drain on the public purse;
* not create more jobs, but the massive subsidies required and congestion created will forego many more jobs, far in excess of the jobs created by construction;
* not create trip time reliability, but will increase the number of traffic incidents and void any possibility of managed traffic;
* not reduce CO2, but the increased congestion will greatly reduce the benefits accruing from reduced emissions by cars;
* and it is far too expensive to improve rural service.
In short, it fails all objectives, has fatal flaws of visual blight, reduced road capacity, and not enough mode change. It gives worse service.