1. Total length of the system: In many cases, costs can be reduced the longer a system is.
2. Topography: Is the terrain flat or hilly, are there many roads or rivers to cross?
3. Location: What is the access for construction equipment? Will there be heavy traffic or other impediments to construction?
4. Utilities: Relocation of water mains, power lines, telephone lines, etc. can have a significant effect on cost increases.
5. Land: What amount of land needs to be purchased or easements need to be acquired?
6. Passenger requirements: What size and number of vehicles are required? How much time will they wait at stations?
7. Speed: What are the speed requirements of the system? Are there long enough distances between stations so that a higher speed is desired?
8. Number of Stations: Each additional station adds to the cost.
9. Special Structures: Will tunnels, bridges, overpass reconstruction or urban structures be a factor?
10. Geotechnical conditions: What are the subsurface conditions? They can have a major impact on foundation costs.
11. Environmental Mitigation: Will restoration, wildlife protection or sound walls be required? Cost of environmental studies.
12. Political delays in contracting or labor/union consideration and sub-contractual fees. Additionally the impact of other studies that may be required.
These cost figures are based on previously built Monorails. "The Monorail Society" has obtained cost information as shown to the right.
It should be noted that the Las Vegas Monorail, as built and maintained by Bombardier Transportation Services, was contracted and delivered for $88 million per mile. This included 4 miles and 7 stations of Monorail
In 2015 cost with 25.76% inflation from 2004 the Las Vegas Monorail would cost about $111 million per mile. This would give us a good figure to use for building future Virginia Monorails.
There are many variables which influence the price of building a monorail system (and most forms of rail transit). Factors as noted by "The Monorail Society" with additional considerations are noted below:
Reference: “The Monorail Society”