Think About It: Standing Room Only - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

March 5, 2012

Think About It: Standing Room Only

Just about every week now there seems to be a new development, revelation, or reassurance about the rail system. Last week word came out that a private consultant hired by the federal government has concerns about the supposed lack of seats that each rail car will provide, relative to the number of standees. Fewer seats for commuters means more standing room, and that might dissuade some people from hopping aboard, fears the consultant. The later you get on the train on its journey to or from town, the higher the probability that you will be standing for 10-, 20-, or 40-minutes. For some, that's OK; for others, it might be a deal-breaker. 

Thus the argument begins about which rail services most closely approximate what we will have here- in terms of rider expectations, length of time on the trains, and the number of stops. Anyone who's ever ridden a crowded city train- BART, the CTA, the Metro, or the New York city subway- knows that after a couple of stops, having people crowd against one another, as is sometimes the case, can be quite unwelcome and uncomfortable. If people start weighing the pros and cons of driving versus a perceived or real level of discomfort early on in the rail's existence, the question is: how many will then opt out of the new steel wheels system all together?

As with most everything related to this project, no one can say for sure what will happen when it's completed- how many people will actually ride, where will they get off, how much revenue will actually be taken in, how much the final cost will really be? One thing for sure based on the crowd assessment; we should have a strict no-beans-allowed policy for peak hours, if you know what I mean. Think about it…

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