on hawaii and opposition to rail transit …

While I no longer make my home in Honolulu where I grew up, I spend significant amounts of time throughout the year in Hawaii visiting friends and family.  There has been an ongoing battle over whether or not the city of Honolulu should begin construction on a fixed rail train system.  More info about opposition to the rail plan is available here

All I can say is that I hope that the anti-transit forces at work here don't win out yet again.  I live in Los Angeles … The car capital of the world.  Inevitably when I am in Hawaii and people hear that I live in L.A. they say, "L.A. … You must have bad traffic, huh?" 

Well, you know what?  "WAKE UP HONOLULU!!! Ya'll ain't no small town any longer and your traffic is WORSE than the traffic I drive in, in Los Angeles!!!  You live on an ISLAND!!! The fact that it takes two+ hours for people to get from Ewa Beach to town should be your wake up call!!!  YOUR TRAFFIC IS HORRENDOUS and the people of Honolulu are paying a huge price in terms of quality of life." 

I also "live" part time in New York where people, literally, don't need to own cars, and I have also just spent time getting around on the subway system in Toronto.  Mass transit CAN WORK!!! 

Sure, since the train route has been convoluted and screwed up by the political process the line may not go exactly where people want it to go, but with time, development WILL increase the value of property near stations and re-development WILL occur.  The rail plan is, obviously, an imperfect one but it's time to take a chance and move forward for once. 

Honolulu is a LONG and relatively NARROW city by its nature so a single line with good bus connections from the 19 planned stations should make it fairly quick to get around on the system.

By the way, Bus Rapid Transit is a farce because the buses get stuck in the congestion with all the cars.  People in NYC and Toronto ride mass transit because it is FASTER to get around than by car or taxi.  Trains on subways and elevated rails bypass traffic. 

It is the only solution. 


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