Monday, January 17, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Honolulu rail project most expensive in the world
By Grassroot Institute @ 3:25 PM :: 5455 Views :: Rail

Honolulu rail project most expensive in the world

by Joe Kent Grassroot Institute, Jun 22, 2017

Considering how Honolulu’s rail project is shaping up right now, the average Oahu resident will have to pay almost $10,500 for its construction costs, which will make it the most expensive rail project in the world, per capita.

That’s based on the current official estimate of about $10 billion, though some experts have said the project could cost more than $13 billion, which would cost the average Oahu resident about $13,700.

“There is no question that the Honolulu rail project is the most expensive per capita of any publicly funded rail project in the modern age,” said Randal O’Toole, a transportation expert and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a policy think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Even if the U.S. Federal Transit Administration kicks in the $1.5 billion it promised to help defray Honolulu’s costs — which at the moment is not a sure thing — the average Oahu resident would still be on the hook for $8,917.

On a per capita basis, Washington, D.C., has the second most expensive transportation project in the nation, the Metro, costing almost $3,000 per person, for a total of about $18 billion. The D.C. total cost is greater than Honolulu’s, but its per capita cost is considerably less because of its larger population (over 6 million people in D.C. versus 953,000 people on Oahu).

After the Metro, the next most costly rail projects per capita are the Salt Lake City TRAX at $2,428 ($2 billion total); Los Angeles Red Line at $1,985 ($7 billion total); Bay Area Rapid Transit, $1,958 ($14 billion total); New York East Side Access, $1,199 ($10 billion total), and Spain’s high-speed railway network, $958 ($44 billion total).

O’Toole noted that, “These are all in urban areas many times larger than Honolulu — more than four times in the case of San Francisco, eight times for Washington, 15 times for Los Angeles, and more than 20 times for New York.”

This means it will cost roughly $25,000 to $35,000 for the average Oahu family of three to pay off the cost of Honolulu’s long-controversial rail project, which so far is barely half-built and has its most difficult stretch, through Downtown Honolulu, looming ahead.

Those tens of thousands of dollars per family are funds those families could apply toward a home downpayment, college tuition, health care or just plain food and utilities. And that bill for rail does not even include what will be the ongoing costs of rail maintenance and staffing, which at the moment is expected to cost between $100 million to $200 million every year.

The Honolulu rail’s record high costs are nothing new, however. When the project ballooned from $3 billion to $5 billion, it was already the highest cost per capita.

“Even at $5 billion, I can definitely say that no rail project has ever cost more per capita than Honolulu’s,” O’Toole said. “At $10 billion or whatever the final cost turns out to be, it will be even more so.”

Spurred by the massive cost overruns, many citizens across the state have signed the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii petition calling for a full independent audit of the Honolulu rail project.

To date, there has never been a full independent audit investigating the rail for fraud, waste and abuse.

Anyone wishing to sign the petition to audit the rail can find it at www.AuditTheRail.com.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT