Think About It: Rasping Rail + Clunky Connector - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

February 2, 2015

Think About It: Rasping Rail + Clunky Connector

Wouldn't it be nice to go a month or even a week go by with some good news on the rail project? Something like costs are under control, components are coming together smoothly and on time, anticipation and excitement means ridership will exceed expectations? But no, that hasn't been the case of late. And by "of late", I mean something in the order of three years now. And now reality is sinking in that the so-called temporary increase in Oahu's general excise tax to pay for rail will have to be extended beyond its expiration date in the year 2022.

2022? Really? Did anybody think that projection wasn't going to be fudged with when it first broke ground? Post-recession, did anybody think construction costs wouldn't go up? Did anybody think delays would not arise due to reluctant businesses being asked to move along the rail's route? Well, rail now has its 2022 partner in inefficiency, as the Hawaii Health Connector claims it will need taxpayer money for seven more years before becoming- you guessed it- self-sufficient in 2022.

Really? Wanna bet? It takes diagnostic analysts and schooled economic wizards to present projections that far down the road. It only takes reality checks and perhaps common sense to see that literally passing the buck seven years down the road is probably not the answer we all seek. But someone else will deal with it then, I guess. Rail on time and on budget? Hawaii Health Connector good to go? Yes, and I've got some great land for you at a good price in Puna- interested? Think about it…

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