Rapid transit systems play a critical role in promoting urban sustainability. Throughout North America a number of rapid transit systems have been implemented – including heavy rail (subway and metros), light rail transit (LRT) in a number of configurations, and busways.
Monorail systems emerged in the 20th century as a unique alternative form of mass transit. Despite relying on an established form of technology, monorail systems have been implemented in a relatively small number of countries. The monorail mode of transit is also less researched than other modes.
Monorails can simply be described as a ‘transportation mode whose vehicles are guided and supported by a single rail or beam’ compared to the dual rails or concrete pathways used by steel wheeled LRT and metro, or rubber-tired metro.