As long as Disney CEO Bob Iger is taking up old causes, I have another one for him. Put the weight of the Walt Disney Company, and the minds of the Imagineers, behind rapidly implementing a network of monorails across the Los Angeles region. Why should Disney care about this? Because, as Ray Bradbury states in his recent LA Times editorial, if nothing is done Freeway traffic will grind to a stop due to all the vehicle traffic.
The Disney Company is heavily invested in Southern California. It has movie and television studios there, two theme parks, and a number of other business ventures. The profits of these establishments, especially the theme parks, depend on free travel to keep the attendance levels up and the customers happy. If Los Angeles develops a reputation as a city where traffic goes nowhere, then tourists will stop coming. If Los Angeles traffic gets much worse, the locals will be less likely to make that trip to Disneyland if suddenly it’s a 2-3 hour trip instead of a 30 minute one.
Walt Disney himself saw this back in the 60s when he offered to build a monorail line from his park in Anaheim to downtown Los Angeles. But what about earthquakes, I hear you wondering. Disneyland’s monorail has operated since 1959 with no earthquake damage. Need more convincing, check out the website of the Monorail Society.
It’s a visionary idea. But as Iger has recently shown, he’s not afraid to take technology to new places where it intersects with the needs of the Disney Company. This is one of those times.