Honolulu Anti-Rail Plaintiffs Seek Support for Lawsuit

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BY CLIFF SLATER – Are you going to sit back on your couch and let this happen?

·         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.

The above images are the before and after of the Waipahu rail transit station.

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





  1. John,

    I am sorry but you are rather biased about noise. Washing machine and air con at 83 dB? Not really, unless you set your ear right next to the compressor.

    You are right about the rest of the devices. So pick one. For the next 20 hours, every minute and a half start it up for 10 seconds. Continuously. Then come back tomorrow and let us know how much you will pay in taxes to have this pleasure outside your window for the next 50+ years.

    Fact is the planned rail system violates HUD’s residential noise standards. But that’s not a part of the NEPA process, so more monies may be expended later to mitigate this violation.

  2. The 83 decibels for rail is the measure of the sound at 50 feet. At 50 feet I can’t hear my dishwasher. You must have placed your decibel meter inside the washing machine to get such a reading. Listen to the BART train at Fruitvale, California at http://www.honolulutraffic.com at our March 13 posting.

  3. I’ve not heard anyone talk about how sound from the rail will reverberate and bounce around amongst the mountains. Noise from rail will be far worse than the 15 minute fireworks on Friday night in Waikiki. Friday fire works in Waikiki would be very disturbing if it happened everyday and all day.

  4. You mean add another 5+ feet of curtain on an already tremendously intrusive elevated infrastructure? John, your aesthetics and cost meters are not working.

    If HOT lanes are such as joke how come there are more HOT lane projects in the nation, including Washington DC, than rail projects?

    Sorry John, you are not “arguing.” Arguing means presenting credible positions. You are propagandizing.

  5. Sorry Panos,

    You need to move BACK to Kapolei from the safe confines of Pacific Heights before you can spew more rhetoric BS to the general public about ADDING more VEHICLES and LANES to the exisiting and future landscapes. Adding MORE doesn’t cure the issue. REMOVING and deleting VEHICLES does. Hot lane projects ONLY work where there is sufficient LAND area to make the process work. Oahu doesn’t have that space. Hot lanes were dismissed as an alternative by the city council in one of the EARLIEST hearings about rail. No debate is left. It’s over. Finished. Get over it. Move on. Now what were you saying PROFESSOR?

  6. I have six dancing blogs and I post an occasional on anti rail. In the side bar of one, I have a small poster of Honolulu Weekly. In another I just posted on for Honolulu Civic Beat. I would like to include you in one of the blogs but I cannot download a logo. The Main blog is Town Dancer https://townelite.blogspot.com/
    Pepe (Joseph Martel)
    87-122 Nanaikeola St. 308
    Waianae, Hi 96792

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