By Darren Pai
HONOLULU (KHNL)- The Honolulu City Council on Tuesday approved a transit route running from East Kapolei through Salt Lake to Ala Moana Center.
Some on the council had called for a route passing Honolulu International Airport. But supporters of the Salt Lake option said it's more important to take care of local commuters.
"I'm not against servicing the airport," said Councilman Romy Cachola. "However it doesn't make sense at this point in time to go to the airport without the waikiki spur."
Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the city will now move on to preliminary engineering and planning.
"It's been a matter of compromising, no one has gotten their way 100 percent of the time but life isn't that way," Hannemann said. "So we didn't get our first choice, we got our second choice."
The council shot down another attempt to add the university district to the transit line. City planners argued that option would not be cost-effective.
"If it doesn't go to UH-Mano, this isn't a traffic solution," said Grant Teichman, UH student president. "I think it's been very misleading to the public calling it honolulu on the move a mass transit solution. This is not a mass transit solution."
"I believe we are turning this major mistake into a gross mistake by failing to include the University of Hawaii in the initial operating segment," said Councilman Charles Djou. "This gross mistake becomes a fatal mistake without including the airport, Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base."