As most people are aware, one of the most heated political debates locally is Honolulu's potential rail system. There are many issues at hand:
1. Should we have it?
In my opinion, something needs to be done to alleviate our traffic problem, however I'm not sure it this is the way... Our tax payer dollars will be paying for it, however how many people will actually use it? In addtion, one of the largest factors is cost. As everyone knows in Hawaii, construction projects almost NEVER come in at budget. Also, what will the costs be to maintain it? Charles Djou on our city council seems to be one of the more intelligent politicians asking some of these tougher questions...
2. What type of system should it be?
There are several types of systems the city is now voting on: steel on steel, magnetic, rubber, etc. Apparently Mayor Hanneman is making a big push for steel on steel, however most cities that have this have residents complaining of the noise. Another factor to consider is we are in Hawaii, surrounded by salt air. Back when Aloha Stadium was built, the contractors were saying the steel won't be a problem. Now, look at it rusting away.... Are we going to spend Billions on a rail system that not everyone will use and will be rusting away in the next 20-30 years?
3. Should it connect to Honolulu Airport?
This third issue was highlighted over the weekend in the Starbulletin and spurred me to post this article. Although, I'm not all in on the rail I think if it is to be done, the airport route is a must. Why spend billions on a transportation system if it is not even going to connect to the airport? The good news is that they are now considering this... bad news is the price tag is now $4 Billion! Now my question, is where is this money going to come from?