A peek at investable tomorrow's human-technology interface, today.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mobility for the New Generation

Nothing is more important than mobility. One of the most economical and effective mass transportation is the monorail. Yet, the awareness and promotion of this unique method of transportation is falling short. The problem is not that we are not aware, and not that the city government do not care. It boils down to purely dollar and 'sense'. It sure does make sense when the guy who runs one of the three installed monorails in urban transit manufacturing tells me he wanted to make this the most affordable of them all.

MTrans factory is tucked away along the old trunk road from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. The founder, David Chew is a fighter. Fancy a guy from my home town Ipoh is making a world class transportation system. The other two companies being Bombardier and Hitachi. The man told me that monorails are not just for theme parks and zoos! Monorail systems around the world are proven technology and can carry hundreds of thousands of passengers safely and efficiently to their destinations every day.

When I first stepped into MTrans in 2004, I was not sure if this company will really be world class. I started experimenting if the system can be implemented in Bahrain, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, before deciding to put some efforts into pushing it into Saudi Arabia. Riyadh was selected initially, but soon we settled for the holy cities of Mecca and Medinah.

It was not until June 2005 that a decision was made to push this mode of transport in as systematic manner. This put us in a better position to propel it strongly in Mauritius, Pakistan and the existing countries and cities that we were promoting.

CommerceNet should help monorail to gain more acceptance as an alternative to conventional rail, buses and cars. Several monorail projects in planning are now gaining momentum with the 'push' and 'pull' efforts of CommerceNet. Perhaps it will not be long when mass transit is really affordable and take unnecessary private vehicle off the roads - towards a better environment, a sustainable one that is!