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Sunday, June 25, 2017
Cost-disbenefit analysis of rail
By News Release @ 7:54 PM :: 4132 Views :: Rail

We have completely updated our cost-disbenefit analysis of rail:

From Honolulu Traffic June 23, 2017

You read it right, disbenefit. There are no benefits whatsoever to building the rail project. With all the changes that have occurred in the last four years since our last update our handout was due for an update. The handout is two pages designed to be printed back and front, for a single page handout. It covers all the major topics such as understated costs, overstated ridership, why it would be an environmental disaster, why it will use far more energy than cars, let alone buses, and summarizes the "dumb or dumber" argument about stopping the rail project.

We suggest you download it, print it both sides and use it on your pro-rail friends and elected officials. Download here.

  *   *   *   *   *

Our definitive statement on the overstated rail ridership:

It can be downloaded here:

HNN -- "Rail critics say rider projections inflated, transparency lacks with HART board":

Hawaii News Now's Rick Daysog covered yesterday's HART Board Meeting where Randy Roth and Cliff Slater argued for more transparency in HART's public outreach efforts. You can see elements of it live on HNN and Rick Daysog's reportage.

Read below for some of the material Roth and Slater tried to cover by during the hearing but were prevented from doing so by Wes Frystacki, who is both the head of the Department of Transportion Services and one of the preparers of the rail project's Final EIS.

  *   *   *   *   *

Here is what you need to know about rail:

From Honolulu Traffic, June 10, 2017

First is that rail only promises the miniscule advantage of reducing auto traffic by 1.7 percent; it will not be noticeable.

That 1.7 percent will happen only if they have the rail ridership, and there is no chance of that. Half the ridership will reduce the traffic improvement to less than one percent.

It will have the worst environmental impact of anything in “the last 100 years.” (See #3 in the handout.)

It will use more energy per passenger mile than we do now, whether by automobile or bus.

It will have a bad effect on road traffic due to the supporting columns taking up road space. Think for a moment of eight-foot diameter pillars (the width of a city bus) along Halekauwila Street.

Go to our handout for a little more detail and if you really want to get into the weeds, try our tabs to the left.

When you get down to working out all the options open to us to remedy the current rail situation it all comes down to the “Dumb and dumber” solution, which Randy Roth and I wrote about in Civil Beat recently. It is really a dumb idea to just stop rail where it is. On the other hand, it is even dumber to spend another $9 billion to get it to Ala Moana Center (it doesn’t even open until the rush hour has passed). All to get a less than one percent decrease in traffic, which is worsening one percent a year due to population growth.

Dumb or dumber — take your choice. 

Here is what you have to do about rail:

The City Council vote last week for the issuing of bonds for rail construction was 6-3 against us. In early 1992 we also lost a City Council vote on rail by that amount. But, by having large numbers of constituents contact their Councilmembers, we wore down our opposition and gained two more votes. We beat rail on September 22 of that year with a 5-4 vote in our favor.

It was a success we can repeat.

To do so, there are two actions you must take immediately:

1. Call your Councilmember (check who that is in the list below). If you can’t speak to someone or leave a voice message, send them an email. In all cases, it is important that you include your name and address so that they can check that you really are a constituent of theirs. Consider saying or writing something like this, firm but not abusive, and in your own words:

“I am fed up with the out of control spending on rail. Don’t vote again for any rail taxes if you want my support. I am a constituent of yours, [Your name], [your address] [your zip code]”

2. On your Facebook page, write the following, but in your own words:

The City Council can still stop rail; only two more Council members need to change their votes. They need to know that their constituents are opposed to the Council raising taxes or borrowing any more money for rail. Go to, learn more about the current rail situation and find out what you can do about it.

Generations now and yet to come will thank you for this effort.  

Link … List of Councilmembers and Contact Info


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