The Rail

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Sam’s Take

The Honolulu Rail is famous for its failure to remain at cost, and disappointment in governmental handling of the Rail is one thing that virtually all Hawaiʻi voters can agree on. Initially estimated to be $3.4 billion for 34 miles including the University of Hawaiʻi, it is now estimated at $10 billion and rising for a 20 mile project that does not include the University of Hawaiʻi Furthermore, this new budget does not include the operations and maintenance cost which overshadows construction costs as they continue past the construction completion date. In addition, the rail is proposed as automatic with no operator on board or any security, which is an invitation to crime and lack of safety.

The Honolulu rail project must stop now! Ending at Middle Street is a viable alternative. Previous Honolulu mayors have said that the project must be completed no matter the cost – a cost that is ever-increasing. Each of these mayors came before the state legislature for even more money. I have voted “NO” on each and every attempt to gain even more taxpayer money for this CITY project. The deadline for operation keeps getting pushed back, but the cost to Hawaiʻi’s families continues to rise at an alarming rate. The Honolulu Rail is not about tranportation or traffic mitigation or local job creation; it is a pure and simple a goverment investment and tax scheme with benefits for selected developers under the TOD transit oriented development construction. The rail amounts to a misuse of taxpayer money, and is a major contributor to our cost of living today. I have strongly opposed the rail since it was introduced in 2005. When I am re-elected, I will propose a complete financial and managerial audit which will shed light on how money has been misspent and suggest immediate corrective action. This action will occur over the course of 18 months, halting any additional funding for the rail, and prove that stopping the project now, at Middle Street, is the best and most fiscally-responsible course of action.

“The Honolulu rail project must stop now! Ending at Middle Street is a viable alternative.”