The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Thursday, March 20, 2003

Some things get lost in translation...

"It is the unfortunate destiny of the ridiculous to be subject to ridicule."
James Howard Kunstler

"Truth passes through three phases: 1) It is ridiculed. 2) It is violently opposed. 3) It is accepted as self-evident." Albert Schopenhouer. In the United States, rail is currently passing through Phase Two.

From the Cabalmaster:

Some things get lost in translation...

If you do a websearch using "Dubai" and "Monorail" as keywords, you will get several hundred hits, for example (Dubai, as intrepid websurfers know, is a Persian Gulf sheikhdom and a component of the United Arab Emirates.)

Paraphrasing an FOC's quote from another FOC: "Every monorail enthusiast, manufacturer and consultant has descended on Dubai."

There's only one problem: there is no monorail project in Dubai.

The Arabic term for "elevated light rail railway" was translated by an English-language newspaper as "monorail" . . . and the rush was on!

We have it on very good authority that Dubai originally planned surface light rail transit, but vehicular traffic and local decisions led to plans for a fully-separated, mostly-elevated alignment. The project is now described as a "light metro." For details, see:

For a map, by Japanese transportation scholar Osamu Abe, see

We Opinionated Ones wonder how long we'll have to wait to see a correction on the Monorail Society webpage . . .

We Opinionated Ones also wonder if the Bush Administration will force Bagdad to install "bus rapid transit" (sic) rather than the subway under construction before the war. . .

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