The Estimated Cost of Honolulu’s Proposed Rail Transit is Way too Low

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The Draft of the Oahu Regional Transit Plan (ORTP) projects that the Kapolei to University of Hawaii-Manoa rail transit line will cost $2.57 billion in 2005 dollars.

However, the 1992 plan projected a cost of $1.86 billion in 1991 dollars for a Waikele to UH line. Here’s why the city estimate is too low:


*Inflation between 1991 and 2005 increased 32.6 percent, which would inflate the $1.86 billion to $2.45 billion.

*On top of that we have to allow for the additional 8 miles between Waikele and Kapolei at about $0.12 billion a mile, or $0.96 billion.

*That all adds up to $3.4 billion, or 33 percent greater than the city estimate — and even that is before cost overruns.

In addition the Draft ORTP says, “The City and County will obtain $456 million in federal funds (in 2005 dollars) to assist in the cost to construct the rapid transit system.”

Whatever happened to Congressman Neil Abercrombie’s promised $1.2 billion for the rail — which he pledged in the city council meetings before the tax hike to fund the rail was approved.

”’To comment on this document, do so before March 15th by sending comments to OMPO, 707 Richards Street, Suite 200, Honolulu Hawaii 96813. Phone 587-2015. A copy should also be sent to the Federal Transit Administration, Region IX, 201 Mission Street, Suite 2210, San Francisco, California 94105-1839.”’

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