The proposed rail will NOT significantly impact Honolulu’s traffic problem (approximately only a 1.7 % traffic reduction).
The proposed rail will go 20 miles along the skyline from Kapolei to Downtown Honolulu.
The proposed rail will be the MOST expensive project per capita in U.S. history at $5.3 billion.
The proposed rail will cost 5 times more than the H-3 Freeway.
Estimates say the completion of the rail project will take 15 years.
According to the HART, the project has only received $120 million in federal funding to date.
If you pay general excise tax 1/2% surcharge was imposed starting 1/1/2007 to fund rail mass transit.
The proposed rail system is NOT GREEN and will run nonstop on electricity for 20 hours a day, regardless of the number of people riding it.
In the last mayoral debate, Ben Cayetano emphasized a very important point that hit me hard, “It’s not just about rail. It’s about power.” Building the rail will be the biggest and largest example of the power that will be taken away from the people of Hawaii. The expansion of Kapolei, huge store like Target being built, more city high rises, and more housing developments are examples of this power. Oahu does not NEED these huge developments! We NEED better public school systems, roads, healthcare, affordable housing, shelters and programs for the homeless, etc.
Oahu also really needs to focus on upgrades and regular maintenance to the City sewer system ($5 billion), upgrades to the City water system ($5 billion), and to repave City roads ($1.6 billion).
The island is very split on rail. Half of the island doesn’t seem to mind the idea of rail (pictured above) or huge developments. Others (like me) are repulsed by the idea of an enormous infrastructure on Oahu’s skyline that will take 20 years to build, bankrupt the island, and put the island’s real problems to the side.
Residents of Hawaii, don’t forget for one second that we LIVE ON AN ISLAND. The whole population of Oahu was 953,207 in 2010. The population of a huge city with a current rail system like Los Angeles is 3,792,621 (2010). And is LA free from traffic since their rail has been put in? I think NOT!
Solutions? Mass Transit Bus system that will cost 1/5 of steel on steel rail? Light street rail? Bettering the existing roads? Hot lanes? Pretty much anything is better than a massive $5.3 billion rail. Don’t allow yourself to get brainwashed by all the pro-rail commercials on TV. The information is extremely misleading and frankly makes me want to vomit.
For more information on the facts about rail on Oahu here are a couple great sites to check out:
Great article Taryn, great article. The issue of rail has really split Hawaii down the middle. It is definitely an overly expensive eyesore that will take too long to build and probably won’t have the needed affect. That being said, Oahu needs some sort of plan (a better one) that will alleviate traffic or by 2020 we are going to be in a huge traffic mess.