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Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Beyond Middle Street: Public Forum Discusses Options for Rail
By News Release @ 3:40 PM :: 2318 Views :: Rail

Option 2A: Street Level Rail from Middle Street

Public Forum Friday, July 14, 4-6 pm Capitol Auditorium

Sponsored by Senator Gil Riviere


National experts address the feasibility of street level rail from Middle Street through downtown Honolulu.

Planned forum topics:

  • The world–wide revolution in light rail (street-level and elevated)
  • Changes necessary to convert HART stations for low-platform rail cars to allow street level operation after Middle Street
  • Creating a true urban transit system incorporating UH Manoa and Waikiki and the potential for pedestrian-friendly neighborhood design with street-level rail
  • The cost savings of such a system. The ability to complete the downtown segment within existing budget (without GET surcharge extensions or other new funding mechanisms).

What is Option 2A?

In requesting a Recovery Plan for HART, Federal Transit Authority (FTA) officials did not specify the technology used to complete the project, so long as it delivered commuters in a “minimum operating segment” to Downtown. The Recovery Plan options identified by HART officials in June 2016 included Option 2A: “Build to Middle Street as planned and continue with at-grade rail system.”  Experts on street-level rail from around the country will be at the forum to evaluate this option for rail transit in Honolulu.

Expert Panel


Vukan Vuchic, PhD

Internationally renowned light rail expert, who consults on transit projects globally. Urban transit expert, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and former consultant for the United States Department of Transportation on planning, design and operations of transport systems. Author of three textbooks which are regarded as core curriculum for urban transit classes nationwide.


Douglas Tilden, FAIA

Distinguished 45-year career designing rail transit throughout the United States (e.g., Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., Miami), as well as the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Greece. In 2007, Mr. Tilden was Chief Architect for InfraConsult, a principal consultant to the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit (HART).  In 2008 he returned to the East Coast to work on the Manhattan-Long Island subway link project and now works as an independent transit consultant.


Gary Andrishak

More than 35 years in the planning and design community, specializing in land-use planning and transit planning, from the standpoint of producing urban master plans concentrating on livability and pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods.  Current projects include Planning/Urban Design lead for the light rail transit corridor in Calgary, Canada and planned high speed rail from San Diego to San Francisco.

  *   *   *   *   *


(UPDATE: This July 15th event has been cancelled per Councilmember Kobayashi's office, July 11, 2017)


Other Option(s): Stop Rail; Find a Better, More Affordable Mass Transit System; or a Combination of Rail and Bus, etc.


  • Saturday, July 15, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Washington Middle School Cafeteria 1633 S. King Street (corner of S. King & Punahou Streets) Honolulu, HI 96826


1. This non-governmental sponsored public hearing is to obtain Financial and Managerial Accountability of the City & County of Honolulu’s rail project. We have invited a representative from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), and included a list of questions that we wish to have answered. As we have learned: Credible Financial and Managerial Accountability for the taxpayers each quarter is required for the success of a gigantic project such as this.

2. To explore and analyze alternative and affordable public mass transit technologies.

3. We also wish to inform Hawaii State legislators (who have been invited) of more acceptable and effective ways of financing the rail or selecting and employing other technologies.

The public is invited to present up to 5-minute testimonies on the FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY of the rail project and/or ALTERNATIVE AFFORDABLE PUBLIC TRANSIT TECHNOLOGIES

Contact persons for information and for testimony sign-up three days in advance: Call or text Former State Senator Rod Tam (808) 216-5454 or call Mr. Frank Genadio (808) 672-9170

SPONSORED BY: The Financial Accountability for Rail Mass Transit Association.



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