I'd like to reiterate some statistics, because I've been hearing far too many "I'm not riding the Disney monorails again" comments around me.
In 38 years of operation (since 1971), the Disney World Monorail System carried an estimated billion+ people. In all that time there was 1 fatality -- this past Sunday night. You have a better chance of dying in a car crash driving in your home town than dying in a Disney monorail crash. Disney has had 3 monorail crashes in its history. One was during a commercial filming event when a tractor drove too close in front of the monorail. One at the Magic Kingdom station where the driver and 2 guests were hurt (in 1974), and the tragic crash on Sunday, when Austin Wuennenberg, the driver of Monorail Purple, was killed. I challenge you to find a SAFER transportation mode in the world today.
Disney reopened the monorail system today with additional safety sensors on the track switches, one of the few places where there were none and a manual override of the anti-collision system was required before.
NOTE: Unconfirmed speculation ahead: The current theory (there is no confirmation from Disney), based on Disney's actions and information from ummm...monorail "sources"...is that Monorail Pink was being switched off track but somehow that switch either didn't happen or the track it was switched into was the one Monorail Purple sat on. Because during track switches the collision system had to be overridden, Pink (going in reverse) never realized Purple was stationary behind him. Why nobody figured out this track was occupied before it was too late is still a matter of investigation, but the anti-collision system is now in place on switch-track areas as well. This system automatically stops the monorail if it gets within a certain distance of another monorail. End Speculation.
I'm 5 weeks away from my Disney trip and I can't WAIT to ride the monorails again, with my son and our friends. Currently there are no rides up front, though. I don't know if these will resume in the future...I hope so. I would love to ride with the drivers again.
Oh and if you Twitt -- #Austin!!!!