Photo: Emily Metcalf
TheBUS - Photo by Emily Metcalf

BY CLIFF SLATER – The City & County of Honolulu’s TheBus is going to be faster than TheTrain?

Let’s review the City’s projected travel time by rail from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center:

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) tells us in the table to the left that future rail commuters leaving East Kapolei would arrive at Ala Moana Center in 42 minutes. This is not quite credible given that the Final EIS table to the left shows that Iwilei to Ala Moana Center supposedly takes only six minutes even though it must load and unload passengers at five stations along the way (FEIS, Table 3-16).

Further, the FEIS states, “the travel time, including access to station and waiting time for rail, between East Kapolei and Downtown Honolulu will be 55 minutes with the [rail] Project.” (FEIS, Table 3-1)

The 55 minutes travel time is a little more believable.

Now let’s review the current bus service from Kapolei proper, its Transit Center, to Ala Moana Center:

Today’s scheduled time for the Route C Country Express service of TheBus from Kapolei Transit Center to Ala Moana Center during the rush hour varies from 44 to 58 minutes and averages 52 minutes. This you can see for yourself on the TheBus transit timetables.

We also have discussed this with commuters who currently use this service and they find the service generally on time and reliable.

Bear in mind that Kapolei proper is further from town than East Kapolei and Ala Moana Center is further along the route than Downtown.

The FEIS also states that transit travel time from Kapolei to Downtown currently takes 86 minutes (FEIS, 1-9). Obviously, city planners are not coordinating their planning with TheBus administration.