Basics - page five of five

How much does Monorail cost?

This is the number one question we receive at The Monorail Society. Unfortunately there is no simple answer. There are many variables which influence the price of building a monorail system (and most forms of rail transit). Factors include...

  • Total length of the system: In many cases, costs can be reduced the longer a system is. 
  • Topography: Is the terrain flat or hilly, are there many roads or rivers to cross?
  • Location: What is the access for construction equipment? Will there be heavy traffic or other impediments to construction?
  • Utilities: Relocation of water mains, power lines, telephone lines, etc. can have a significant effect on cost increases.
  • Land: What amount of land needs to be purchased or easements need to be acquired?
  • Passenger requirements: What size and number of vehicles are required? How much time will they wait at stations?
  • Speed: What are the speed requirements of the system? Are there long enough distances between stations so that a higher speed is desired?
  • Number of Stations: Each additional station adds to the cost.
  • Special Structures: Will tunnels, bridges, overpass reconstruction or urban structures be a factor?
  • Geotechnical conditions: What are the subsurface conditions? They can have a major impact on foundation costs.
  • Environmental Mitigation: Will restoration, wildlife protection or sound walls be required?

No matter what the cost of building one is, monorail has the one of the best chances of all transit modes of turning a profit. This said, we are publishing the following approximate cost figures of various monorail/monobeam systems (manufacturers listed alphabetically). The list is by no means complete. If you are looking for more accurate cost figures for a specific alignment, the most accurate information should be obtained directly from the manufacturer or a monorail-knowledgeable consultant (one that won't just try to sell you light or heavy rail). See our Manufacturer Page for contact information.


     System type   Cost/Year    Info Source   System Status 
 
 

 Hitachi

 

$15 million/km
1964

 

Tokyo-Haneda Monorail

 

Operating

 

 Hitachi

 

 $62 million/km
1985

 

Kitakyushu Monorail

 

 Operating

 

VSL-
(refurbished Mark IV trains)

 

$25 million/mile
1995

 

MGM-Bally's Monorail

 

Replaced with Bombardier system

 

 Hitachi

 

 $27 million/km
$44 million/mile
2003

 

Okinawa Monorail

 

 Operating

 

Kuala Lumpur
MTrans

 

 $36 million/km
2003

 

Kuala Lumpur Monorail

 

Operating

 

 Bombardier MVI

 

$88 million/mile
2004

 

Las Vegas Monorail
(7 stations/4 miles)

 

Operating

Hitachi $73.4 million/km
2006
Palm Jumeirah Monorail Operating

 Metrail

 

$20 million/km
2008

 

 Metrail

 

Contracted

Scomi

 

 $27.25 million/km
2008

 

Mumbai Monorail
(Rites Ltd.)

 

Operating (2014)


Disclaimer: The above figures were calculated by extrapolating information in the public domain. We encourage manufacturers and consultants to provide us with corrected cost estimates if any of our numbers appear to be incorrect. As stated above, the number one question posed to us is "How much does monorail cost?" This information is vital for those proposing or planning a transit system. Contact us at monorailsociety 'at' gmail.com with information or requests for corrections. Thank you!