Mayhem Surrounding Honolulu Rail Project

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BY COUNCIL MEMBER TOM BERG – The rail project gets sloppier by the day. The “pushers” of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) are to blame for this mess- because it was rammed through and rushed without regard for the fact that superior transit technology is available. Furthermore, the impact on historical sites and burials could have been avoided. And when it was rushed through, lawsuits sprouted up calling out the process as flawed.

This document is the smoking gun – click here to see it. What this is, is a list of State Legislators who demanded then Governor Linda Lingle ram the FEIS through and sign off on it – no matter how flawed it was. Please take a moment to read the names in this document.


So when you think of the $10 million a month being wasted right now to not build rail – the cost overruns, the delay claims, the State of Hawaii Supreme Court ruling, think of the signatories that signed this letter demanding Governor Lingle be reckless and that she support this rail project regardless of costs, lawsuits, and other financial ramifications that could arise.

Here is a three-minute youtube that captures one of the aftermaths – one example of the legislators’ demand letter that favored skirting the law, and disrespecting iwi kupuna . . . which now is costing us $10 million a month due to rushing the FEIS through before it was fully vetted, debated, and examined by the public at-large.

Remember now, when the public got to vote on steel wheels on steel rails in 2008, the Draft EIS was released only days before the election . . . did you read it before you voted?

As always, I offer alternatives and solutions. Please watch this to counter the lies from rail proponents that BRT is not an option:



Councilman Tom Berg | Honolulu Hale | 530 S. King Street Room 202 | Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
TEL: (808) 768-5001 | WEB: | E-MAIL:





  1. Why is it that people against rail aren't just upset — they're ALL CAPS, conspiracy theory, infowars, sky is falling crazy? I know it's hard getting attention by staying calm when you're a lone voice, Tom, but it doesn't help your case when you have to tell half truths to get people to agree with you. If your anti-rail perspective had merit, you'd be able to discuss the project without misleading people on the facts.

    It must be exhausting and scary to live in your reality.

  2. The rail project is simply wrong for Oahu It offers inadequate transportation at a cost of years of inconvenience for our citizens (imagine the impact on traffic, business and everyday life when the construction reaches Honolulu); billions of dollars in present and future taxes; degradation of the limited areas where people can live (has nobody notices that our island is a mountainous spine between two narrow strips of flat coastal land?); and according to every study, unlikeley to ease the traffic problems on our highways.

    Who benefits? A few large real estate and development interests, several construction companies, and a couple of thousand construction workers. (As military and commercial construction has picked up, the construction workers are already going back to work.) The big-money lobbying and advertising campaigns supporting the rail project represent these stakeholders.

    Since an overwhelming majority of Oahu residents oppose the rail project, even the project employees and stakeholders know it won't be built. But out of spite or greed they are spending our dollars as fast as they can to suck as much income from the venture as possible before it is consigned to the scrapheap.

  3. It is interesting that in the February 2010 letter to Lingle to quick sign the rail FEIS, the signers say that Obama has given his vote of confidence to the rail and that Peter Rogoff, head of the Federal Transportation Authority, will sign an agreement to provide Federal funds in the amount of $1.55B by "next year" (2011). It is now near the end of 2012 and there is still no Federal funds.

    With all the trillions being spent every year by the Feds, you would think it wouldn't be that hard to fund a relatively meager $1.5B. Why the delay when Hawaii has both the POTUS and the US Senate Pro Tem (who also happens to be the head of the Appropriations committee) in their corner? If they can't get it done, then what will it take?

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