Think About It: Un-Rapid Transit - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 7, 2016

Think About It: Un-Rapid Transit

The city wants the feds to give it more time to assess how best to pay for rail, how best to manage the system, how much ridership would be affected by stopping construction at Middle Street instead of at Ala Moana Center, etc. After all, what's another 10-months when this marvel won't be completed until at least two more U.S. presidents have been elected and left office! So the mayor, HART and the Honolulu city council will reconvene, pass the buck around, literally, as it tries to find other places to move money into the rail project and get it completed sometime in the next eight years… or so.

We will thus get a new projection, another educated estimate at best, about how many people will opt out of riding a rail that will now apparently stop at Middle Street. Thus we will have an estimate based on an initial estimate of ridership that was done many years ago. And we will have the question answered, in theory, about how many people will opt out of taking the train due to having to bus it the final 6.5-miles from Middle Street to Ala Moana Center. And we'll have to add more buses, which means more traffic and pollution.

And how many tourists will say "forget about it" when they realize that after their 5-12 hour flight getting here they'll take an airport Wiki Wiki bus down to baggage claim, then lug their bags to the rapid transit station at HNL, move their bags and bodies off the train at Middle Street to a bus, and then possibly exchange buses at Ala Moana Center for the one-mile bus trip to their Waikiki hotel. Aloha, welcome to paradise. So much for the concept of "rapid" transit; but we will have rabid visitors. Wanna buy stock in Uber? Think about it...

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