Monorail! Monorail! Not in Providence

In Providence, they almost got a monorail. You might remember one of the most famous episodes of the Simpsons, about a man who came to Springfield and to the tune of “The Music Man” conned the people into building a big dumb monorail.

At TF Green Airport, long delayed plans call for a $222.5 million facility that once actually did include a monorail. But the idea was scrapped in favor of moving sidewalks. The distance is substantial, the facility will straddle train tracks and connect to the airport’s terminal over an 1250 foot long elevated sky bridge. They broke ground a year ago, but in days construction will begin.

The big project has been stalled more times than an Edsel, wrangling over funding and getting rental car companies to come to terms and Amtrak’s resistance to let them use their tracks. While those trains won’t stop at the station, commuter rail will carry passengers to Boston.

Their competitors in Manchester NH Airport (called Manchester-Boston for marketing purposes) are fighting back. They offer a free shuttle bus from downtown Boston, and are looking into a rail connection from Boston to the New Hampshire airport.