Monorails have been shown to be the only form of large-scale mass transit systems that can be operated and maintained at a profit; or at minimal cost to the general public and taxpayers. For this reason, monorails present a variety of financing opportunities not available to other types of transportation systems and services. Monorails present unique opportunities from the perspective of cost effectiveness as well as sources of financing. The demonstrated capabilities of monorail systems to be built and operated completely independently of other transportation systems, organizations and funding sources permits financing structures to be developed and adapted to the specific nature and capabilities of monorail technology and systems.
Government leaders and transportation planners have not seen their mass transit funding and financing prerogatives and mechanisms change significantly over the past fifty years. Transportation planning and development continue to be the exclusive domain of public officials, agencies and authorities operating under antiquated and unproductive models that consider all transportation to be a public service, with no expectation or requirement of efficiency or cost effectiveness, supported by unlimited sources of public tax funding. Massive overspending on public transportation system development is consistently coupled to long-term debt and perpetual subsidy for virtually every public transit operation in the nation. Monorails present the only viable alternative to the impending wide spread insolvency of transportation systems, agencies, authorities, and their respective governmental entities at every level.
The present and foreseeable economic environment significantly restricts the development of massive new infrastructure for any type of public mass transit at local, state and federal levels. Funds allocated tend to be adequate for completion of studies, planning and design, while construction and equipment purchases are increasingly dependent on matching funds from other equally distressed funding sources. Phasing and scheduling of construction and implementation of new mass transportation systems and services is projected well beyond the tenure or political careers of current transportation authority and agency decision makers. A serious reconsideration and redirection of transportation priorities and system development should be undertaken on behalf of current and future taxpayers, as well as, patrons of the transportation systems to be developed and funded over the next thirty years.
The unique characteristics and opportunities presented by monorail technology can allow private developers and operators to enter in public-private partnerships and joint ventures with government agencies to share in expediting provision and coordination of resources necessary for successful development of monorail systems and services. Governmental and public agencies can provide rights of ways, land and facilities already under public ownership or control for cooperative joint development projects, with monorail developers and operators financing and implementing new systems within the rights of way corridors. Under public-private joint agreements designed to address specific local opportunities and conditions, government agencies would maintain ownership and jurisdiction over the public property and rights of way, while monorail developers would build and operate the monorail systems and services as private enterprises providing public transportations services.
Little, if any, long-term public indebtedness would be required to implement monorail development under this mutually beneficial type of agreement and joint venture development model. Funding of monorail system developments could be primarily accomplished through the issuance of government-sponsored, privately issued “conduit municipal bonds”, which optimize the low costs of state and local government-sponsored bonds issued and repaid by private bond issuers and project developers; thereby placing underwriting and bond debt servicing obligations entirely on private financial and development entities.
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