Rail Update: More City Shennanigans; Seating for… 64 ‘n 250+ Stand for the Ride

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Honolulu Rail Transit cartoon, cattle car, cars have few seats, no driver
Honolulu Rail Transit Cattle Car

BY BOBBIE SLATER – Thursday, March 1st was a banner day for rail information. First the public was informed by Kevin Dayton of the Star Advertiser that rail will have only 64 seats available for the two car trains and that 254 people will have to stand.

Passengers on the train will be traveling some of the longest trips on any U.S. system and more people will be standing than in any rail system in the U.S. with the same kind of seating. The three with trips that long all have far more seats. The trip from East Kapolei to Ala Moana will be 42 minutes.


The consultant hired by the FTA to oversee the project, Jacobs Engineering has said they are concerned that not enough people will be willing to make such uncomfortable trips, and that will negatively affect ridership projections and fare revenues.

Since this report was received in October, the city has apparently asked Ansaldo to add 12 more seats, so that now only 242 people will have to stand. We are sure that will make a big difference.

Check out honolulutraffic.com for the whole story.

The second story required a Freedom of Information Act request by the Star Advertiser. Douglas Chin, Mayor Carlisle’s managing director signed a letter on Oct 26 suspending long standing debt guidelines that were adopted by the city council in 1996 and revised in 2006.

The Council knew nothing about this, and Chin claims that even the mayor doesn’t know. Not surprising; when asked recently who was going to pay for cost overruns, Carlisle didn’t know and had to ask an aide. It is us local taxpayers who will pay, of course.

According to the Advertiser: “The letter was required to clear the way for borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars to help finance the city’s $5.27 billion rail transit project.”

Are we watching real “transparency” in action? Check out honolulutraffic.com for the whole story.

Our lawsuit moves along and we expect to win in August. We have successfully raised $261,000, which is quite remarkable, and need to raise $140,000 more. The Council has appropriated $1 million for the city to defend against us. Remember that is your money.

All we need is 140 people to contribute $1,000, or 1,400 people to contribute $100.00. Fourteen hundred people is only 1.5% of our O’ahu population!

Please consider your contribution, and come to our fundraiser on March 24th at Rob and Anne Burns’ lovely home on Poipu Place. Email me for more information at bobbie60@hawaii.rr.com

100% of your contribution goes to the rail fund, we are all volunteers, and your contribution is tax deductable.

Please send a check in any amount to help:

Contributions to:

SBH Education Foundation Rail Fund
6600 Kalanianole Hwy, #212
Honolulu, 96825
We are a citizen group concerned with the unnecessary waste of taxpayer funds that would be incurred through the construction of a rail transit line in Honolulu together with the blight that would be visited on our city by an elevated noisy rail line snaking right through it. Learn more and join us>