Exciting Stadium Monorail

August 06, 1991

A Franco-Californian company is proposing a 3,700-foot-long monorail to whisk visitors to Harborplace and the new Orioles ballpark at Camden Yards from the stadium's parking lot south of Hamburg Street. The whole trip would take less than 4 minutes and would cost a nominal amount (a quarter), which in this world buys little transportation, except a ride on the Staten Island ferry.

This $17 million proposal by VSL Corp., an affiliate of the giant Boyugues Group of France, represents a striking opportunity for Baltimore to achieve a number of things that could make areas around the new baseball stadium more desirable for business and pleasure.

For one thing, the plan would turn a far-away stadium parking lot into a year-around asset that could serve the parking needs of commuters to Washington, light-rail customers, conventioneers, tourists and downtown businessmen. After all, the new MARC train terminal and light-rail stop would be just a short monorail hop away from both the parking lot and Harborplace.

VSL Corp. is so convinced it has come up with a winning concept that it is willing to finance the whole project itself. While it would get some revenue from monorail fares, its main income would come from sharing the profits of the state-owned parking lot south of the stadium. No city subsidies, no state grants.

VSL says it has not officially submitted the plan for the city's consideration because the company wants to get the response of the Maryland Stadium Authority first. We urge the authority to pursue this idea. A pioneering monorail system could greatly enhance the economic potential of the stadium and nearby sites. It could also serve as a starting point for a people-moving network throughout the downtown area that could curb congestion, cut pollution and stimulate new interest in living and working in the central city.

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