> Monorails do have their niche, but what it is, I do not know. Though I've
> heard that in Japan they have been quite successful, but I don't have to
> many details.
The only monorail I know of in Japan is the one that was built for the
1964 Tokyo Olympics, connecting the former international airport with
the city center.
That particular airport is still used for domestic flights, and a
popular horse racing track is at one of the intermediate stops, so
there's a pretty steady passenger load.
The area that it runs through was rather ugly to begin with (industrial
and shipping), so I can't say anything about the aesthetic effects of
There are plenty of elevated trains, and they seem less disruptive than
elevated highways. Of course, with the scarcity of land in Japan, I've
even seen houses built under elevated highways, and in many places,
there are little stores under the train tracks.
Osaka's circular commuter line is elevated for much of its distance, and
one ends up riding among high rise apartment buildings at about the
second- or third-story level. I found it to be a bizarre sensation,
zooming along among people's living rooms.