At the International Monorail Association, we believe that at the heart of every big city there is an opportunity for people to get to work, school, shop, visit friends, etc. conveniently, reliably, and efficiently. That goal requires assessment of what the conditions are on the ground, what the patterns of user preferences are, what the services presently available are in the form of buses, taxis, underground, what the gaps in service are, as well as the volume of passengers involved. Once the existing physical infrastructure is assessed, the planning on how to satisfy the gaps comes next. All the undertakings mentioned above constitute the steps to assess physical infrastructure. What is missing in many communities is the social infrastructure that allows the projects to be explored. In other words, what is missing is the knowledge base in a given field that could be used, transferred to other environments. That is one of the goals of the International Monorail Association meetings: to create an opportunity for the social infrastructure to be set in place, to learn about what portions of a project were successful, which decisions should be avoided, what technologies are being studied and explored in research institutions. Monorailex 2015 occurred this past November 2015. During the sessions there was a lot of learning in the various fields. Our field trips were also instructional. We experienced the hospitality of the members of the Las Vegas Monorail Company, showcasing their Innovia 200 trains, and Doppelmayr Cable Car Company, showcasing the systems at Aria and Excalibur. Both companies opened their maintenance facilities and vehicles to our delegates. Those who attended Monorailex 2015 can attest about the technical value, camaraderie, and friendships that develop during these meetings. The general membership present at the event decided a number of things:
- To create a new category of membership, the Association Member. This category will allow IMA to extend membership status to associations dealing with transportation related issues and to solicit membership on their associations
- To remove the joining fee as a way to streamline the membership experience.
- To hold our next 2016 meeting in Cologne, Germany, or its vicinity.
- To issue comments to the ASCE 21 document to have it reflect mass transit monorail needs.
- To distribute some of the papers presented in the sessions to people interested in the field of monorails and Automated People Movers.
There are relevant tasks ahead of us in 2016; working on our comments to the ASCE 21 documents, multiple new projects are coming on line, and ensure the learnings of previous projects get incorporated into the new ones. This is also the time to innovate and be open to the opportunity monorail transportation systems provides the owners and users in terms of efficient design and operation. Let’s recommit to the tasks ahead of us. See more photos here!