27 alternatives to the Honolulu rail's Plan A?
From Grassroot Institute, May 12, 2021
The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii in late April obtained a previously secret document from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation showing the city agency has analyzed 27 alternatives to its current plan for its troubled rail project.
Now the document is being discussed community-wide, with veteran journalist Catherine Cruz of Hawaii Public Radio even using the document as a springboard for rail-related interviews in the days ahead, starting at 11 a.m. on KHPR’s “The Conversation,” at 88.1 FM.
First up in the series was our own Keli’i Akina, institute president, who spoke with Cruz on Monday, May 10, 2021, for about 7 minutes.
“I think the bottom line is that the rail has to be far more transparent,” he concluded. “People need to know what the options are and what the costs are, and what the real future of rail looks like.”
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What’s the latest on Oahu’s troubled rail project?
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, May 12, 2021
The future of Honolulu’s troubled rail project was the topic of a May 9, 2021, interview of Keli’i Akina by radio Johnny Miro of H. Hawaii Media.
The interview, heard on Oahu stations 101.1 FM, 101.5 FM, 107.5 FM, 97.1 FM, 96.7 FM and 103.9 FM, followed the release of a secret Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation document obtained by the institute that showed the agency has analyzed 27 possible alternatives to the city’s current rail plan.
Asked if the rail project is at a turning point, Institute President Akina responded:
“Oh, definitely. … Currently there are no contracts to extend the rail past Middle Street and the rail is struggling with cost issues. The state is recovering from the pandemic and there’s little money to spare for a seemingly endless megaproject boondoggle. Not only is this a good time to stop and reassess the rail project, … but state and local leaders … need to demonstrate that whatever happens next with rail, it’s part of a plan that takes into account costs, finances, changing technology and everything else that has changed since the broad project began.”
Akina said his own preference would be “whatever will help finish the rail fastest and at a cost Honolulu taxpayers can afford. This document that we’ve released is a good place to start finding ways to cut costs and come up with a reasonable solution.”
BACKGROUND: May 1, 2021: Secret Document Shows HART looking at 27 possible rail changes