Monday, February 26, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Importing Boston’s Failures to Honolulu
By Selected News Articles @ 8:00 PM :: 3795 Views :: Rail

Importing Boston’s Failures to Honolulu

by Randall O'Toole, the Anti-Planner April 23, 2013

One of the intriguing things about rail transit is how much more the CEOs of rail transit agencies get paid than those of bus-only agencies. Yet that high pay comes with a high risk of failure and disgrace, as it is much more difficult to build and run rail lines than to simply manage bus service.

Case in point: Dan Grabauskas, CEO of Honolulu’s “rapid transit authority” and the highest-paid city official in Honolulu. What did Grabauskas do to merit this position?

It turns out that his main qualification is having helped run the Boston rail system into its present deteriorated condition. In 2009, Grabauskas resigned from that position in disgrace. Some claim he was forced out by a Democratic governor for the sin of being appointed by the previous Republican governor, yet there is no doubt that Boston’s rail lines were in terrible shape, with frequent delays, at least two recent crashes (including one blamed on rusty signal wires that killed a train operator), and miserable customer service.

When Grabauskas was in his previous job of Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, he adopted a “fix-it-first policy towards the state’s highways. The Antiplanner thinks such policies are often a guise for a “we don’t want to build more roads because we think roads are sinful” policy.

But it is too bad he didn’t apply the same policy to transit when he took over the Boston’s T system. Instead, while the rest of the rails rusted away, he proudly completed a new Greenbush commuter-rail line that managed to attract only half of its predicted ridership.

Grabauskas was so enthusiastic about transit in Boston that exhorted auto drivers to “dump the pump” and ride the train or bus. But trains weren’t good enough for him, as he drove to work in a government-owned SUV.

Now he is in Honolulu promising to bring some of the glory of Boston’s rail system to Hawaii. According to the National Transit Database, Boston’s entire transit system–including buses, trains, and ferries–carried 94 trips per capita in 2011. Meanwhile, Honolulu’s bus system carried 96 trips per capita. Maybe he should go back to Massachusetts and teach Bostonians the value of bus transit.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

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



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

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

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

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


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii