There are different modes of transport viz: Rail transportation, Sea Transportation, Air transportation, Road transportation and Pipeline transportation. However, in road transportation we have three (3) transport systems which are Road transport system, Rail transport system and monorail transport system, in all of these transport modes and systems, monorail is the most unpopular overland transport in developing countries. For instance, one day precisely on 15th of January, 2015. I walked into a particular organization in the Ibadan city where l live, Oyo State, Nigeria, to ask just a question from all the staff and my question on that day was “Do you know monorail or have you heard about monorail before?” In fact, none of them actually know what monorail really is. I was flabbergasted or surprised when some of them started using questions to answer my question, someone asked me, was it a name of a person or thing or what? Many other questions were thrown back to me on that day why they failed completely to answer my own question. However, before and after the said day, I had also asked some people the same question but none of them could actually tell me anything they know about monorail, despite, the fact that, the word monorail is coined from two words “Mono” and “Rail” Mono which refers to one single object and rail which is a popular word used for railway track, one would have expected them to suggest transport or to suppose it to be transport but unfortunately, they could not suggest it to be transport system or think in that direction. This to me, shows, that they have poor understanding on monorail transport system and that is why I need to write about monorail for all my lovely readers.

Rivers State Government Educates Indigenes on Monorail?

However, I cannot blame the said people I interviewed why? It is because is not easy to talk about a thing you have not read, seen or heard before and that was why I found it more important to write an article on monorail. Indeed, monorail is unpopular transport system in African countries.

Nevertheless, in Port-Harcourt city, Rivers State, Nigeria, where I also lived before, the people living there are familiar with the monorail transport system. The government of the state embarked on a monorail project tagged Rivers Monorail. The government of Rivers State organized an educative program on radio and other Medias educating their indigenes on Rivers Monorail system telling them the importance of monorail in Port Harcourt city where the traffic volume is high day by day.

Truly speaking a quite number of people or sizable number of people in developing countries do not have clear understanding of monorail as a viable transport system to compliment mass transit. Hence, monorail is a type of transport which its grade is raised particularly above the ground level. The word grade here simply means the special road or track made or designed for monorail to move or travel on.

The Characteristic of Monorail

Monorail is normally elevated above traffic, above congestion, above pedestrian and above vehicles. In fact, its grade is separated from surface traffic of all kinds, cars, trucks, trains, people, bicycle, motorcycle and so on. So that monorail can run without any interference from other means of transport thereby, improving traffic flow and reducing the accident rate. These are part of the uniqueness of monorail.

Monorail the Safest Transport System

In addition, monorail is the safest transport system because of its grade separation. It cannot for any reason whatsoever collide with cars or other vehicles or run over people or bicycles. In fact, people can ride bike or walk without having to look out for on coming vehicles or train as the case may be for any pedestrian who intends to cross the road or railway track. Monorail actually wraps around single         ” rail” and it cannot derail like I said. Indeed, it is the safest transport for now in the world. It has a low accident rate when you compare it to other transport modes. For instance, the first fatal monorail accident occurred on the 5th of July, 2009, at Walt Disney World in Florida. In fact, it is first fatal accident ever happened in the 38 year history of the monorail system. You can imagine it yourself the number of accidents that might occurred in other modes of transport in 38 years. Therefore, my earlier assertion that monorail is the safest transport system is not a gain saying but a stark truth.

No Noise Pollution in Monorail Transport

More so, monorail does not make any noise on motion unlike cars, articulated vehicles (trailers), buses, air crafts and so on. In fact, it is the most quiet overland transport. It does not produce any harmful noise like that of automobiles or jet airplanes in an environment. Do you know that the noise produced by vehicles and air crafts can be annoying or disturbing a man in his environment? But monorail transport system does not produce such undesirable noise. It is environmental friendly.

Monorail uses Electricity not Fuel.

It is also important to let you know that monorail is electrically powered therefore; a standby power supply is usually made available for its operations. Since it is powered by electricity it does not pollute our environments as we have in road transport and air craft. Hence, it supports the green environment program. However, monorail does not take a wide space as any one may think; its line can be placed in the street within a space of 4 or 5 feet Colum.

Monorail a Viable Public Transport

However, monorail has the capability to move large number of goods and people far more than what a luxurious bus can carry at once without interfering with any other land transport. Indeed, it is a good form of macro transportation. For instance, Walt Disney World monorail transport system in Florida, has one of the highest ridership in the world, it offers service to over 100,000 passengers in each day operations.

 Monorail Operations Around the World

Nevertheless, it is also important to look at some of the countries where mono rail transport system is being used. Therefore, the under listed are the lists of operational monorail in the world and the numbers of their stations.

Country                                                                                 No of station(s)

  1. Australia                                                                                    one
  2. Belgium                                                                                      one
  3. Brazil                                                                                           two
  4. Canada                                                                                        one
  5. China                                                                                           four
  6. Finland                                                                                        one
  7. Germany                                                                                     five
  8. India                                                                                             one
  9. Ireland                                                                                         one
  10. Italy                                                                                               one
  11. Japan                                                                                            ten
  12. Malaysia                                                                                       two
  13. Mexico                                                                                          one
  14. Russian                                                                                         one
  15. Singapore                                                                                     one
  16. South Korea                                                                                 two
  17. Spain                                                                                              one
  18. Thailand                                                                                        one
  19. UAE                                                                                                one
  20. UK                                                                                                   two
  21. USA                                                                                               three
  22. Turkmenistan                                                                               one
  23. South Africa                                                                                  one

However, from the above list, you will notice that Africa has no operational monorail, except in South Africa, this shows that it is uncommon transport in Africa.

However, the following are the proposed monorail in Africa and their stations.

Country                                                                                         no of station(s)

  1. Morocco                                                                                   one

2     Nigeria                                                                                         six  their locations are:   Lagos, Port- Harcourt,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Enugu, Aba, Onitsha and Umaiha.

  1. Ghana                                                                                          one
  2. South Africa                                                                                two
  3. Egypt                                                                                            one
    Monorail Operations Around the World
    Nevertheless, it is also important to look at some of the countries where mono rail transport system is being used. Therefore, the under listed are the lists of operational monorail in the world and the numbers of their stations.
    Country No of station(s)
    1. Australia one
    2. Belgium one
    3. Brazil two
    4. Canada one
    5. China four
    6. Finland one
    7. Germany five
    8. India one
    9. Ireland one
    10. Italy one
    11. Japan ten
    12. Malaysia two
    13. Mexico one
    14. Russian one
    15. Singapore one
    16. South Korea two
    17. Spain one
    18. Thailand one
    19. UAE one
    20. UK two
    21. USA three
    22. Turkmenistan one
    23. South Africa one
    However, from the above list, you will notice that Africa has no operational monorail, except in South Africa, this shows that it is uncommon transport in Africa.
    However, the following are the proposed monorail in Africa and their stations.
    Country no of station(s)
    1. Morocco one
    2 Nigeria six their locations are: Lagos, Port- Harcourt, Enugu, Aba, Onitsha and Umaiha.
    3. Ghana one
    4. South Africa two
    5. Egypt one