Experts split on rail’s options
by Dr Panos Prevedouros, PhD, FixOahu!, February 1, 2016
Experts split on rail’s options was the title of an article by Kathleen Gallagher in the Pacific Business News on November 20, 2015.
The experts are I, Paul Migliorato, research analyst at the Pacific Resource Partnership, and Mayor Caldwell.
My take was as follows: “The pain of having the project go through town is insufferable,” said Panos Prevedouros, department chairman and professor of transportation engineering at the University of Hawaii. “It’s only going to get worse, the council should do their best to shrink the project. It’s not just about financials, it will kill our reputation and quality. We will become the laughingstock of the tourist industry.”
Paul Migliorato made excuses: the issue with the budget is that the original estimate was “unrealistic”. “The problem is when creating the budget they didn’t make it project specific so it wasn’t realistic.”
Paul's statement directly points to the failure of the Federal Transit Administration to insist on a reasonable instead of a rosy budget, as I exposed in $10 Billion: The Ultimate Price Tag for Honolulu Rail.
And the mayor is wrong, as always: "Stopping the project now also sets Honolulu at risk of[to] become a “laughingstock” of the federal government, according to Caldwell."
Honolulu, HART and its contractors are the laughingstock of the not only the federal government but the nation as a whole for achieving expenditures similar to the Big Dig for their "light rail."
Mayor Caldwell, nobody is stopping your rail. We are asking you to use good sense and make lemonade with the lemons that you bought instead of railroading our town for the sake of wasting ten billion dollars.