Can Honolulu Rail Project Really Be Stopped?

article top

BY PANOS PREVEDOUROS PHD – Today, I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions I get while on the road talking to folks. If you have questions too and want answers, please email me directly. My address is at the end of this email.

Can Rail really be stopped? Didn’t the residents vote on it?
Rail is not a legal system to build, yet.  It has not finished the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process. Additionally, people voted for a rail system that is different from what we are looking at today, making the vote invalid: People voted for a light rail system that goes from Kapolei to University of Hawai`i and Waikiki. Today the plan is steel-on-steel rail that starts a mile out of Kapolei, does not go to Waikiki, does not serve UH or stop at Leeward Community College. In 2008 people voted for light rail at a cost of $4.6 billion. Today the city’s plans call for at least $5.6 billion for heavy steel-on-steel rail. All contracts associated with rail have an exception clause, i.e. “pending approval.”   The Mayor in place on September 19th has executive power and can stop the project.


What about TRAFFIC? What are your solutions?
The Final Environmental Impact Statement says it in black and white that (1) congestion with rail in 2030 will be far worse than it is now, and (2) rail will remove 40,000 car trips out of 4 million trips done on a weekday on Oahu. So rail is the 1% solution that will cost all of us $6 Billion for an 1% return. Oahu’s current traffic jam is “a failure of government.” 150,000 people now live in Kapolei and no new lanes were constructed. New lanes, 10 miles of “high occupancy” lanes, two or three reversible lanes including an afternoon zipper lane, better timing of traffic lights and more lanes at the Middle Street merge are all part a sensible solution to real traffic relief.

Can an Engineer manage our City?
Management boils down to knowledge and best practices. As a civil engineer I have deep knowledge of city kuleana: design, construction, operations, maintenance and environmental impacts. My civil engineering experience can help our City solve its problems with sewage, refuse and land use planning. I will have department heads who are experts in their areas and will work together for the best solutions for our City. Did you know that engineering is the most popular undergraduate degree of Fortune 500 CEOs? Johnny Wilson was an engineer (the Wilson tunnel) and an excellent mayor for 19 years. Engineering is about planning, priorities and problem solving. Exactly what our city needs. Not another politician.

See more at and reach Panos Prevedouros, PHD, candidate for Oahu mayor, at 63‐PANOS (637-2667) or email