Monorail along I-35 proposed to relieve traffic, spur commerce

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by Joe Conger / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @joe_conger

kens5.com

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 29 at 6:20 PM

SAN ANTONIO – Interstate-35 provides a commerce corridor for goods from Mexico to Minnesota. And you don't have to travel far to find an accident along the interstate…and the backup behind it.

Studies show traffic congestion is the norm on I-35 where one out of four vehicles is an 18-wheeler.

Accidents cost time. Time is money.

But a company out of Dallas proposes to free up some space on the highway by carrying a big-rig’s freight over it.

“I-35 is really the backbone, the ‘River of Trade.’ And we would really much like a way to reduce the freight traffic, because 70 percent of it doesn’t want to be in San Antonio. It’s coming through-- going south or going north,” said Scott Ericksen with the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Freight Shuttle International is shopping a monorail system that moves cargo from San Antonio to Dallas on an electric-powered, elevated guide-way. The system could provide nearly 18,000 transporter trips a day, traveling at speeds of 60 miles an hour.

“TxDot is asking private enterprise to put together some proposals to build, operate and maintain. And what they’ll do is lease right-of-way space along the highways," Ericksen said.

The system is only a vision, but TxDot and local planning organizations have shown some interest.

But independent truckers aren’t so thrilled. Taking trucks off of I-35 may loosen up traffic, but truckers warn of the lost jobs.

“Anything that hurts our pockets is not a good idea,” said trucker Noe  Aparicio.

Aparicio said after all, truckers get paid by the mile, and there are hundreds of miles between the Alamo City and Big D.
 
Independent trucker Ty Johnson said the monorail could increase the cost of goods by adding another middle-man.
 
“It’s no good, because they’re not paying anything. Everybody’s waiting on a dollar,” added Johnson.

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