Good Luck to the Rail
At 9 billion dollars to go 22 miles and a operating cost over 100 million a year the chances of the rail project ever breaking even seems unlikely.
The rail depends on in-fill development along its length a not unreasonable expectation being there is usually additional building along mass transit corridors along with an uptick in property values. The rail seems to anticipate a substantial increase in Oahu’s population to create a much denser urban core. The question is “where are all these people going to work”?
While we can hope it works out for the rail project, windward residents should not be expected to subsidize the rail project indefinitely. Sharing of cost for infrastructure development is the norm but the rail only services a portion of the 5 points converging on the urban core and at tremendous cost.
And, unlike the shared expense for roads, highways, harbors, etc. it’s a project whose expertise is not likely to be repeated anywhere else in the state.
This rails lopsided cost and the fact that alternative mass transit (such as bus rapid transit) could of have had island wide (even statewide) application is a now a”what if” of history.
The future of mass transit looks more likely to be self driving cars, either personal or shared fleet vehicles, such transportation would greatly increase the carrying capacity of existing roads.
Windward residents want to instrumental in helping increase prosperity island wide but the need for building and maintaining a high quality public infrastructure requires a greater attention to projects that bring in the greatest return and at the best possible price.