· Trains will run every 3 minutes in each direction; a train every 1½ minutes at 83 decibels.
· They say it will cost $5.5 billion before cost overruns. Maybe $7 billion? Property tax hike coming?
· The City forecasts rail will increase transit riders by 31,000 daily more than just using buses.
· That’s $212,000 in construction costs for each new transit rider! And never mind the operating costs.
· Operating the train increases the City budget by $72 million a year. Property tax hike coming?
· The City says, “Traffic congestion will be worse in the future with rail than what it is today.”
Here’s the main question: How can a noisy elevated rail line, 35 feet high and 30 feet wide, running noisy trains every 1½ minutes across the most valuable part of Honolulu’s waterfront area and through our historic districts, be approved as the “environmentally preferable alternative” when it is opposed by every one of Hawaii’s environmental organizations,? How can this be legal? It isn’t.
“This elevated rail project is precisely what our environmental laws were written to protect us from,” states our new attorney, Nicholas Yost, who as General Counsel of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, wrote the environmental laws.
The City was supposed to choose a transit alternative that would avoid impacting the Downtown historic properties and the likely native Hawaiian burial sites. Instead they chose the alternative with the greatest impact.
Do you know that the rail line only goes from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center? It does not go Kapolei proper, or Ewa, or to UH or Waikiki.
Do you know that the UH soil experts say that the farmland that the rail project will eliminate is the finest in the State and is presently actively farmed?
Have you considered what will happen during the 8 years (if we’re lucky) that it will take to build rail? It will create Leeward side traffic congestion so bad that it will take new ways to describe it.
It is unprecedented to have a city’s environmental organizations all condemn a rail project. Here is an excerpt from what the Coalition of Environmental Organizations agreed upon as a joint statement that they presented at a press conference under Governor Cayetano’s leadership:
“…the City’s proposed elevated heavy rail project will… forever alter the character of the communities through which it is built and will negatively impact the lives of people who live and work in Honolulu’s urban core. We consequently are united in our opposition …”
We are having the nation’s finest environmental attorney file suit against the FTA and City to stop this elevated rail line from ruining our City’s financial condition and its environment. This takes money. Please make a tax-deductible donation to help us with this lawsuit. You can pay something now, or wait until rail’s costs hit your property taxes.
Please write your check to: SBH Entrepreneurial Education Foundation Rail Fund, 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy, Suite 212, Honolulu HI 96825