City and County of Honolulu Liquor Commission - Transportation - Public Transportation - Rail

Rail

Currently, there is no urban rail transit system in Honolulu, although electric street railways were once used during the early days of Honolulu's history. The last major attempt was called the Honolulu Area Rail Rapid Transit project, popularly known as HART. Originally proposed in 1968 by Mayor Neal S. Blaisdell and supported by his successor, Frank Fasi, HART was originally envisioned as a 29-mile (47 km) line from Pearl City to Hawaii Kai. By 1980, however, the project's length was cut to an 8-mile (13 km) segment between the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Honolulu International Airport.

In the wake of proposed budget cuts by President Ronald Reagan, including the elimination of all funding for transit projects by 1985, newly elected Mayor Eileen Anderson cancelled the project in 1981 and returned grants and funding to their sources, arguing the project would break her vow of fiscal responsibility.

Several attempts had been made since Anderson's cancellation of HART to construct a fixed rail mass transit system. All attempts stalled in Honolulu City Council hearings. In 2004, the city, county and state approved development of an action plan for a system to be built in several phases. The initial line proposed linking Kapolei in West Oahu to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. However, on December 22, 2006 the city council approved a fixed-guideway system meant to accommodate either rail or buses, running from Kapolei in West Oahu to Ala Moana, with spurs into Waikiki and Manoa.

On November 4, 2008, the 50.6% (156,151) of Honolulu County voters, voted to approve a new $4.5 billion rail project that would connect West Oahu with downtown, Waikiki and University of Hawaii. The trains are planned to be approximately 200 feet (61 m) long, electric, steel wheel to steel rail technology and will capable of carrying more than 300 passengers each. The rail project is currently projected to cost $5.27B.

After early delays and postphoned dates from not receiving a final approval from then-Governor Linda Lingle to issues involving burial sites, a ground-breaking ceremony to signal the beginning of construction was held on February 22, 2011. Despite the go-ahead, there were still other legal hurdles as the argument of burial sites continue to be a major issue that lead to court order in 2012 to have construction temporary halted, while the project itself was once again a political issue in the 2012 Mayoral race with former governor Ben Cayetano entering the race in the hopes of killing the project altogether, while then-Mayor Carlisle and his predecessor Caldwell both wanted the project to continue. This would result in Carlisle coming in third in the August 2012 primary and leading to a run-off between Cayetano and Caldwell in the November 2012 general election, with Caldwell defeating Cayetano with the support of groups and the public who wanted the rail project to continue. In December 2012, a court order allowed the rail project to resume in all but the one of the two phases so more burial sites can be uncovered.

Read more about this topic:  City And County Of Honolulu Liquor Commission, Transportation, Public Transportation

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