Community Budget Issue Requests - Tracking Id #3041
MOSI Monorail Energy Research Interactive Display
Requester: Dr. Judith Lombana Organization: Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
Project Title: MOSI Monorail Energy Research Interactive Display Date Submitted 1/13/2006 2:11:44 PM
Sponsors: Crist, Fasano
Statewide Interest:
This project would construct a necessary and usuable demostration project for a modern method of mass-transit at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in the form of a suspended, light-rail monorail system. This project offers a means of transportation for intra-city and inter-city travel with significant lower consumption of energy compared to current transportation systems. The overhead suspension provides safety and speed and complete grade separation not conflicting with other modes of transportation or existing land uses on the ground below. As the State of Florida continues to grow, the stress on the state's current transportation system will correspondingly grow. Therefore, the state needs to explore and promote alternative mass-transportation. Mass-transit by it's definition also saves in energy costs by economies of scale in transporting large numbers of people. However, there are methods of transportation that can further save energy by using alternative fuel sources (other than fossil fuels), such as solar energy. Transportation must also be desireable to the general public in order to be actually used. The creation of new means of transportation is only viable if it is found to be desireable and is ultimately used by large numbers of people. Special advantages of this SkyTrain system seek to make this transportation mode desireable by having low energy consumption, comfort for passengers, speed on curbs (with no lateral forces) at least three times that of light rail systems in the street and up to 44% faster than tilting bodies now used on high speed intra-city trains. Additionally, there is potential for growth to match subway carrying capacity equal to nine lanes of automobiles growing to 40,000 passengers per hour. The car bodies can be interchanged allowing for transportation of passengers or freight at will. The MOSI SkyTrain project aligns with the State Department of Transportation mission of providing safe transportation system that ensures the mobility of people and goods and preserves the quality of our environment and communities. The SkyTrain project will explore and promote alternative mass transportation that is considered to be premium transportation demonstrating environmentally friendly with less direct and indirect environmental impact and minimizing air, noise, and ground pollution.
Recipient: Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)   Contact: Dr. Judith Lombana, V.P. of Re  
  4801 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida   Contact Phone: (813) 987-6331  
  Tampa 33617   Contact email:
Counties: Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, {Statewide}
Gov't Entity:   Private Organization (Profit/Not for Profit): Yes
Project Description:
This funding request is for Phase One of the Museum of Science and Industry's (MOSi) SkyTrain Display project, which includes engineering designs and identification of potential SkyTrain path, metering systems, instrument displays, power and control circuits, cab design, and preparing all architectural and build documents for the system. The Sky Train would serve as an educational demonstration project to transit professionals and museum visitors as a suspended light-rail mode of mass-transportation. It would also provide transportation service to people within the MOSI/USF area to provide short-haul service between several areas in the science museum environment and possible other nearby locations. MOSI and Sky Train Corporation are partnering on a multi-phased research and teaching project for both public and professionals in the field of mass transit: Phase I- Planning and Design, Phase II- Construction, Phase III- Research and Teaching. Current partners for this project include: Kissinger, Campbell, and Associates (KCA)- Tampa engineering firm; Tampa Steel Erecting- highest rated in Florida; USF Center for Urban Transportation Research; USF Marine Science Center for Ocean Technology Micro-Electo-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS); USF Center for Robotics, CRASAR; AAR- body construction. The SkyTrain project is a multi-phased project displaying worldwide firsts: incorporation of regenerative breaking into a monorail system demonstrating recovery of the kinetic energy of motion; available energy storage and control circuits allowing changing of the sequencing of components to optimize costs between savings of energy and life performance; a display of a new suspended monorail technology, identified and funded in part by Florida's Technological Research and Development Authority (TRDA) monorail to be an energy-efficient, multi-purpose monorail to carry both passengers and freight. MOSI has agreed to construct the prototype on its property for subsequent research and development on this very important issue.
Is this a project related to a federal or state declared disaster? No
Measurable Outcome Anticipated:
The Sky Train project would serve as an effective educational tool for a modern, energy-saving mode of transportation. It would demonstrate a 60% to 80% energy savings over older, rubber-tire monorail systems. It would thereby show a reduction in the need for traditional fossil-fueled transportation by showing the viability of solar-powered, mass transportation. It would also be able to show an increased speed capability than other monorail designs, which currently have maximum speeds of approximately 60 mph. The MOSI Sky Train will also demonstrate the ability for such a system, if constructed in areas of high demand, to services as many as 40,000 people per hour, compared to a three-laned highway with a copacity of 3,600 automobiles per hour.
Amount requested from the State for this project this year: $2,000,000
Total cost of the project: $2,000,000
Request has been made to fund: Operations
What type of match exists for this project? None
  Cash Amount $  
Was this project previously funded by the state?   No
Is future-year funding likely to be requested?   Yes
  Amount: $8,000,000 To Fund: Operations
Was this project included in an Agency's Budget Request?   No
Was this project included in the Governor's Recommended Budget? No
Is there a documented need for this project? Yes
  Documentation: Museum of Science and Industry Master Plan
Was this project request heard before a publicly noticed meeting of a body of elected officials (municipal, county, or state)?   Yes
  Hearing Body: Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation
  Hearing Meeting Date: 01/07/2006
Is this a water project as described in Section 403.885, Laws of Florida?   No