Monorail pitch made to Surrey

Monorail pitch made to Surrey

SURREY – Even though they said it was more of a Shelbyville thing, Surrey may pursue a monorail of its own.

John Murchie, owner of Murch-Tech Consulting Corp., went before the city’s transportation committee on Monday to propose the installation of a monorail, as an alternative to extending the SkyTrain or implementing light rail transit (LRT).

"This is the lowest-priced transportation system to date that I know of in the world," said Murchie of the monorail. "We have to have an economic transportation system to get the interurban kid into town, when he’s a low-income earner or we’re not going to survive our structure."

Unlike SkyTrain, Murchie said a monorail would have a lightweight design that could be integrated into any community without causing urban planning difficulties. He showed a video that explained that a hangdown monorail could be suspended from tracks 40 feet in the air and safely run above traffic on existing highways.

He added that a monorail system would be more versatile than LRT.

"Light rail runs around $50 million a mile and you’ll obstruct the traffic for years to come," he said.

He suggested running a monorail along 104th Avenue between Central City Shopping Centre and Guildford Town Centre, which is one of three routes that Mayor Dianne Watts has proposed for future LRT.

Furthermore, Murchie said a monorail network between cities could be used to transport oil and goods, not just commuters.

"The world is looking for cheap transportation, and the sad part is nobody’s trying to do that. I believe we could do it here in Surrey."

Coun. Barinder Rasode asked city staff to research if monorail could be a viable form of transportation in Surrey and provide a report to the committee.