BY JOHN M. CORBOY – The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has told the Hawaii state legislature (StarAdvertiser, 4/17) that so few passengers will ride the planned $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail, that fares will likely cover only 40% of the costs.
Taxpayer subsidies will exceed $40 million annually by 2030.
So State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, D-North Shore, has proposed development around depots to encourage up to 130,000 more people to live near transit stations and to ride the train (SB 2927).
Necessarily expanding the system with extra trains to carry these additional passengers will increase operating and maintenance costs, of course, so that even more riders would be needed to cover these higher expenses.
Ever more and larger trains would be required for all these additional passengers, and so on, and so on.
Not enough riders to keep the train in business? Just bring in more people! The tail is wagging the dog.