Less costly than subway, tramway and monorail: how the uST complex can solve the problems of satellite cities

Residents of rapidly growing satellite cities who work in megacities have to stand in traffic jams every day. It would be long and very expensive to do away with a transport collapse by building a subway, a tramway line or a monorail. And the construction works themselves will lead to even greater traffic congestion. Building the uST transport and infrastructure complex can help in this situation. Let's see why it is better than a subway, tramway or monorail and what its key advantages are.

uST transport and infrastructure complexes in the Leningrad region
Application option for uST complexes in the city of Murino, Leningrad Region.


Every day thousands of people go down to the subway to get to work. The trains move quickly and without traffic jams, they run frequently, and the fare is low. This is where the advantages of the subway end, but it has many more disadvantages!

First of all, laying a subway line is very expensive. The cost of such works in the world ranges from 50 to 645 million dollars per kilometer. This is on average, but there are much more expensive projects. For example, the construction of one kilometer of subway in New York City usually costs $2.3 billion. The World Trade Center Transportation Hub station was built here, and in the end, it cost an incredible $4 billion! The cost is influenced by many factors: groundwater, the presence of water reservoirs, the type of terrain, and the depth of the tunnels.

Constructing a subway station Prosek in Prague. Photo: wikipedia.

The construction time for deep stations is about 5–6 years, for low-depth stations it is 3–4 years.

The negative impact on health can also be attributed to subway disadvantages. In deep and long tunnels, the level of electromagnetic fields is unacceptably high because of the presence of a large number of high-voltage cables. And there is an abundance of electrical equipment in the trains.

Infrasound waves arising from the interaction of air flows with the train moving in the tunnel also damage the health of passengers. And abrupt accelerations and braking depress the vestibular apparatus.

Researches by scientists from the Swedish Karolinska Institute, one of the largest medical universities in Europe, also confirm the harm of traveling in the subway. According to their data, in comparison with street air, the air in the subway contains 10 times more iron particles, which are produced by the friction of the wheels of heavy carriages against the rails in a confined space. Such particles cause serious damage to the human DNA.


Many of us prefer the tramway for transportation. Its advantages are obvious: a large capacity, less negative impact on the environment due to the use of an electric motor, practically no traffic jams (although there are plenty of people who like to drive their personal cars onto the tramway tracks).

Tram-train in Karlsruhe. Photo: wikipedia.

What about the cons? There are a lot of them. First of all, building tramway tracks is expensive. Depending on the region, the cost of 1 km of track is 26 –99.7 million dollars.

Tramway is a ground mode of transport, therefore building a line for it occupies a part of the roadway, which does not solve the problem of traffic jams, but, on the contrary, aggravates it. In addition, trams necessitate laying of additional power lines and adjustment of the contact network, which requires annual inspection and frequent maintenance. In case of its breakage or power supply failure, the tram is completely immobilized. Moreover, passengers are not insured against accidents, and the tram itself is dangerous for pedestrians.


This mode of transport is still not widespread, although it has some significant advantages. For example, there is no need to lay special tracks on existing routes, supporting towers and passenger stations do not take up much space. The monorail passes over the road, therefore the risk of accidents is minimized.

Chongqing Monorail. Photo: wikipedia.

The disadvantage, again, is the cost. The cost of 1 km of monorail is from 14.5 to 114 million dollars. Besides, the monorail has a low throughput capacity, slow track transitions of rolling stock from one track to another and a metal-intensive structure.

It is also costly to operate a monorail, largely due to the uniqueness of each project. For example, maintenance of the Moscow monorail with the length of its track of only 4.7 km costs about 800 million dollars a year.

There aren't even two lines because of the design specifics. There is only one line, back and forth.

The monorail track is a rather bulky structure, which can significantly spoil the architectural appearance of the neighborhood where it runs.

uST transport

The construction of a uST complex is preferable due to a number of significant advantages. For example, minimal land acquisition is required, the route runs above the ground, which means that it can be laid through any landscape. At the same time, a water barrier or swampy terrain makes the construction of a motor road much more expensive.

uBus KARAT U4-212

In the case of applying the uST technology, the topography is not decisive – the distance between the supporting towers is up to 2 km. In a number of situations, this will help to connect two stations along the shortest route, saving the customer money and passengers' time considerably. In addition, the route passing above the ground completely excludes the possibility of traffic accidents.

At the same time, construction of the uST route does not require blocking an existing motor road.

Unmanned electric rail vehicles on steel wheels (uPods), the basis of the rolling stock in the uST complex, are equipped with their own traction motors. Therefore, even in the event of a power supply failure, they will be able to continue traveling along the route on their own. 

Trains of subway, monorail and trams will lose their ability to move in such a situation.

uPods can travel at speeds of up to 150 km/h, depending on the type selected. They are safe, as they have an anti-derailment system and special sensors that constantly monitor the environment. The capacity of the complex is up to 50,000 passengers per rush hour.

Less costly and more convenient

As we can see, the uST complex demonstrates high economic efficiency and flexibility of application compared to traditional modes of transport. The string rail overpass can run through any landscape, allowing to lay the most logistically favorable routes.

It does not take up the usable part of the roadway and is resistant to climatic impacts. Use of the uST complex excludes the risk of accidents – the track runs at a height of 3.5 meters above the ground.

Unlike other modes of transport, the uST complex does not have a negative impact on health. It is distinguished by low noise level, insignificant impact on the natural landscape and fertile soil.

Thus, the uST transport and infrastructure complex can become an optimal solution to the transport problem of satellite cities.

1 December 2023