Honolulu QA & Rail TRansiT What are the goals ofWhat is Honolulu Rail Transit? honolulu rail transit?Honolulu Rail Transit is a proposed 20-mile elevated rail line that will connect West O‘ahu withdowntown Honolulu and Ala Moana and, one day, will extend even further to Honolulu International n Improved Mobility. We need to get from here - - - to there – island-wide. The roads and freewaysAirport, Waikı kı, UH Manoa and Kalaeloa. The system features 200-foot-long electric, steel-wheel are often congested, limiting our community’strains capable of carrying more than 300 passengers each. Trains can carry more than 6,000 riders per mobility. A fully-elevated, steel-wheel rail transithour. By 2030, up to 90,000 riders per day are expected to use rail transit. system will be able to move thousands of people per hour without taking away the already limitedHow does rail transit help reduce traffic congestion? highway and road space we have now. n Reliability. The elevated system will operate with precision and reliability. So, if you need to be at work by 8 a.m., you’ll arrive at work by 8 a.m., One 300 Passenger Train even if it’s raining or there’s a big accident on H-1. There will be just 3 minutes between rail vehicles during peak hours, so you won’t have to check the schedule to catch the next one. n Improving The Economy. Construction of the rail line would create an estimated 11,000 jobs over the next eight years, and increase state and city revenues. 200 cars on 6 lanesOne 300-passenger train can relieve the freeway of 200 cars every three minutes during morning rush hour. nProtecting Our Environment. Rail transit can be powered by electricity from renewable sources,Traffic congestion develops when too many O‘ahu’s population is expected to grow by and is endorsed by the Sierra Club.vehicles try to use a roadway at the same time. 200,000 people by 2030, and an estimated n Sustainable Growth. It is vital that improvedDuring rush hours, congestion builds quickly, 750,000 more daily trips are expected on O‘ahu’s infrastructure is in place to support West O‘ahu’sparticularly where major roadways converge – like roads. But a detailed Alternatives Analysis growth. It will help focus growth in designatedthe H-1/H-2 Interchange or Middle Street Merge – showed that a rail transit system could reduce areas, and away from areas where we don’t wantand from the downtown area outward. future traffic congestion by 11%, while simply it – helping to “keep the country country.” Considering the limited space in Honolulu, increasing the number of buses would reduce n Fairness. Rail transit is affordable for workingthe only solution is to reduce the number of future traffic congestion by just 1.3%. Adding families, seniors, and students. Rides will costvehicles at those critical pinch points. That’s toll lanes or roads would actually increase future the same as TheBus and TheBoat, come with freewhat’s so important about rail transit. Rail transit traffic congestion. transfers, and like now, a monthly pass will workis the only large-scale solution that helps reduce There is no “magic bullet” to reduce O‘ahu’s system-wide.the number of vehicles on the road, especially traffic problems. Building rail transit now is Rail transit, as part of an overall public-transpor-in the downtown and Ala Moana areas, and the the most cost-effective way to avoid even more tation system, is a way to enhance Honolulu’sH-1 corridor from West O‘ahu. congestion in the future. quality of life, by easing traffic congestion, enhancing our economy, reducing pollution, What’s inside and providing greater mobility for us and future n How much rail costs and how we’ll pay for it n Why “HOT” lanes won’t work generations. n Route map and travel times n How rail transit is the quietest option This brochure is provided by the City & County of n How much you can save riding mass transit n Why rail transit is eco-friendly Honolulu as part of the public information program n Why steel-wheel technology was selected n How rail transit benefits Hawai‘i’s economy required by the Federal Transportation Administration.
QA Honolulu Rail TRansiT For more information go to honolulutransit.org &How much will it cost to build, and how will we pay for it? How much will operations and maintenance cost? Why was steel-wheel technologyRail transit is the most cost-effective option amongthose studied, including expanding bus service or year, and another $20 million is in the pipeline. A key to current and future federal support is the of current and comparable construction costs in Hawai‘i. The cost estimate will be adjusted and up- Rail transit will cost 40% less to operate and chosen for Honolulu?building a HOT lane viaduct. The initial route from commitment Honolulu has already made for local dated with inflation as the project advances. Nearly maintain per passenger-mile than buses. Honolulu’s new transit system will last for Rail has the best long-term operating perfor-East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center can be paid for funding, with more than $250 million banked for a billion dollars in contingency – almost 20% of the In Honolulu, operating and maintenance generations, so it is important to maximize mance characteristics, including higher passenger-with already identified funding sources. No new the project. Federal funding is expected to increase total budget (see pie chart) – is included in the total costs for our rail system are estimated to be benefits and minimize costs, including the carrying capacity; better ride quality; lower noiseadditional taxes are needed for construction. significantly as the project moves to construction. cost to absorb any future uncertainties. about $60 million per year in today’s dollars. costs of operations. To help select the specific impacts; better energy efficiency; lower air-quality Funding comes from the ½% GET surcharge Construction costs are estimated using the Even when adjusted for inflation (see table By comparison, we currently spend approxi- transit technology to be used, the City sought impacts; and lower long-term costs. There are alsoand the Federal Transit Administration’s New building industry’s best practices and reviewed below) and allowing for fluctuations in the mately $180 million each year for operating and assistance from an independent panel with many suppliers in the rail business, which enhancesStarts program. $15.5 million for the planning regularly by the Federal Transit Administration’s economy, Honolulu Rail Transit can be built with- maintenance costs of TheBus. knowledge of, and experience with, all the flexibility and further minimizes costs over time.phase has been appropriated by Congress for this auditors. Costs are based on engineers’ calculations in budget. rapid-transit technologies available today. According to Ron Tober, chairman of the five- The panel selected steel-wheel rail as the best member technology selection panel, “Modern rail Rail transit costs less than the cost of long-term solution for Honolulu. technology is a far cry from the elevated rail lines Soft Costs Project Balancing The BudgeT carrying the same number of riders on a Rail is a proven technology with by far the in New York City, Chicago and elsewhere. It is Inter 18% Reserve Total 2006 Year-of-Expenditure bus-only system. Operating and maintenance greatest number of in-service systems today. quiet, smooth, and efficient.” est C 5% Contingency Dollars Dollars osts 7% Construction Contingency (in millions) (in millions) costs, after fares, is $40 million per year – Vehicles 6% Soft Costs 13% Capital Costs 3,470 4,570 about 2 to 3% of the City’s budget. ay Net Interest Costs 250 410 Comparison of Mass Transit Options Right-of-Way 2% Right-of-W Total Project cost 3,720 4,980 One reason is that each 300-passenger train Steel-Wheel Rubber-Tire Elevated “HOT” typically requires just a single operator, while Rail Transit Fixed Guideway Toll Roads Project Construction Costs it would take more than four buses – each with Reserve Construction 49% City GET Revenue 3,020 4,055 their own driver – to match that passenger Lowest construction costs Yes No No Contingency Federal Funding 700 925 capacity. Another is that rail transit’s modern Lowest cost to maintain and operate Yes No No Total Project Funding 3,720 4,980 electric-motor technology is more efficient than the diesel engines used in buses. Of course, steel Qualifies for federal transit funding Yes Yes No wheels hold up much longer than rubber tires – Highest passenger capacity Yes No Yes Honolulu currently spends more than $600,000 per year for new bus tires alone. Train cars also Electric-powered, can run on wind, solar, H-power Yes Yes No have a much longer lifespan than buses. Lightest construction impact on community Yes Yes No Projected costs are reviewed regularly by the Is Honolulu “too small” for rail transit? Federal Transit Administration’s auditors. Greatest relief of traffic congestion Yes Yes No The cost savings of rail transit have been Lowest operating noise levels Yes No No No. In fact, many communities that are successfully operating rail transit are smaller, and less observed time and time again in transit systems densely populated than Honolulu. nationwide. In almost every case, rail transit Most proven mass transit solution Yes No No San Francisco Steel-wheel rail transit is the most proven, cost-effective, and reliable technology in use today. Miami demonstrates that, in corridors like Honolulu’s, Other cities – large and small – that have invested in steel-wheel rail transit systems include: it can save on ongoing operational expenses as compared to those of bus-only systems. Atlanta, GA Cleveland, OH Los Angeles, CA Philadelphia, PA San Francisco, CA Baltimore, MD Dallas, TX Miami, FL Phoenix, AZ San Jose, CA Will rail transit construction Houston Boston, MA Denver, CO Minneapolis, MN Pittsburgh, PA San Juan, PR Kuala Lumpur How will we pay for operations and maintenance? increase property taxes? Buffalo, NY Edmonton, AB New Orleans, LA Portland, OR Seattle, WA Passenger fares for rail transit will cover Overall, the City’s share of rail transit’s All capital and construction costs will be paid Calgary, AB Houston, TX New York, NY Sacramento, CA St. Louis, MO approximately 30% of operations and mainte- operating and maintenance costs is project- for by federal funding and the existing ½% GET Charlotte, NC Jersey City, NJ Newark, NJ Salt Lake City, UT Vancouver, BC nance. The rest will be paid out of the City’s ed to be 2-3% of the annual operating budget. surcharge revenue. No property tax increases Chicago, IL Long Beach, CA Oakland, CA San Diego, CA Washington, DC annual budget, the same way we currently pay for By comparison, Honolulu currently spends will be required for construction. TheBus, and how other public transit systems are approximately twice that for its cultural and Charlotte New York funded nationwide. recreational programs.
QA Honolulu Rail TRansiT For more information go to honolulutransit.org &Where will PEARL CITY C How will Rail Transit help me if I don’t live along the route?Honolulu Rail Each train can carry more than 300 passen- Keeping cars out of downtown, Kaka‘ako and gers – the equivalent of more than 200 cars. It Ala Moana areas will also help reduce parking WAIPAHU D ‘AIEATransit go? is estimated that rail transit will help keep more congestion, and will reduce costs for employees or B than 25,000 cars off O‘ahu’s roads and high- employers. ways each day. So even if rail transit doesn’t It’s also important to remember that every E Moa nalu aH eH wy directly serve your neighborhood, it will other major transportation improvement made likThe proposed route of Honolulu Rail MAKAKILO w Like help ease your commute, whether you’re in the last 50 years – including the Wilson PEARL HARBOR yTransit is designed to connect where Kameh coming from the Windward Side, East Honolulu, Tunnel, H-2 and H-3, the Kalaniana‘ole andpeople live – in O‘ahu’s largest and A SALT LAKE li H wy Mililani, or the North Shore. Kahekili highway widening projects, and many Fort Pa amehafastest-growing communities – with the It’s estimated that by 2030 rail transit will others – has primarily served select areas of the y Wea Hwareas where most people work, shop and ‘EWA reduce traffic congestion island-wide by 11%, island. Rail transit will help support our n Hwy ver R toattend school. F KALIHI ng compared to what traffic will be like at that time if families, friends, and co-workers from West O‘ahu, rri oa Honolulu rail transit stations will Honolulu Fa we don’t build it. To put that in perspective, that’s whose peak hour commutes can now take an hour d vd ‘EWA BEACH International Airportfeature five park-and-ride facilities along Bl KAPOLEI HONOLULU similar to the difference between summer traffic or more every day. Kaleloathe initial 20-mile route, and will be G and the back-to-school jam.served by express and local feeder buses Ala Moanafrom neighboring communities. The first Center University of Hawai‘iline will run from Kapolei to Ala Moana Transit Stations Kaka‘akoCenter, with stops including UH WestO‘ahu, Waipahu, Leeward Community Rail Route Planned Extensions “generate move jobs…through more efficiently and We can more our workforce greater investmentCollege, Pearl City, Pearlridge, AlohaStadium, Salt Lake, Kalihi, Honolulu Airport Route WAIK IK - - I in public transportation sources. We will also enjoyCommunity College, downtown, andKaka‘ako. Expansions will include ser- benefits including better air and water quality, greatervice to Honolulu International Airport, public health, less sprawl, and more independence for - - -UH Manoa, Waikıkı, and Kalaeloa. PROJECTED RAIL TRAVEL TIMES our aging population. A more balanced transportation B c d e f g system…is a winning combination for the economy, a Kapolei to Ala Moana Center Waipahu to Downtown Pearl Highlands to Downtown Pearlridge to Downtown Aloha Stadium to Downtown Kalihi to Ala Moana Center Downtown to Ala Moana Center for families, and for individual commuters’ quality of life. – Sierra Club’s report Missing the Train ” 40 minutes 28 minutes 23 minutes 19 minutes 16 minutes 10 minutes 5 minutes How will property owners along the route be affected?How loud will rail transit be? The plan to build elevated guideways generates will be contacted on an individual basis. In fact,Modern steel-wheel rail transit produces less noise is generally mounted high on the back of the bus; one of the smallest land-use footprints, resulting the City has already made contact with property Decibel (dB) Range Chart Dump Rock concethan diesel buses, trucks, mopeds and many au- therefore, most of the noise comes from a high truck r in the least property impacts of all alternatives, owners in the initial construction areas. The over- passi t neatomobiles. Smooth, welded rails and vibration- point on the vehicle. City b ng by r the including building new roads and highways, arching goal is to reach negotiated agreements Prop us pa from stageabsorbing fasteners eliminate much of the noise By contrast, a modern electric-rail vehicle’s osed ssing 50 fe tunnels, underpasses, or widening roadways. with landowners and the City is committed to rail p by fro et aw 100dBwe associate with traditional rail travel. noise is generated only from where the wheels assin m 50 fe ay g by f et aw While some residential and commercial assist with appropriate relocation efforts. In all A steel-wheel rail system generates a lower contact the rail. Noise mitigation therefore Norm rom 5 ay 90dB a l conv 0 fee properties must be acquired in full, most of the cases, property owners will be notified before the Avera ersat t awa 80dBnoise level than a rubber-tire-on-concrete sys- only requires a short two- to three-foot high ge TV ion (H y right-of-way acquisitions required are for portions Draft Environmental Impact Statement is released level igh)tem, and the noise that is generated can be more wall, far more attractive and much lower than the Norm at ho 70dB of individual parcels. to the general public. a l conv meeasily and inexpensively reduced to acceptable taller walls needed for a rubber-tire system. ersat 60dB The exact impacts of the route and stations The rail transit project includes sufficient ion (Llevels. That’s because the noise from a bus-type For Honolulu’s proposed rail system, sound Typic ow) are still being refined as engineers continue with funding to cover right-of-way acquisition costs, al libra 50dBrubber-on-concrete vehicle is generated both from barrier walls are planned for the entire 20-mile ry detailed design. Once there is a precise deter- with a nearly 40% contingency to ensure thethe engine/exhaust and from the contact between guideway. 40dB mination of exactly which properties will be City’s ability to pay fair market value.the tires and the pavement. The exhaust system affected, potentially-impacted property owners
1 Boston $1,124 $13,490 2 New York $1,119 $13,431Q&A Honolulu Rail TRansiT For more information go to honolulutransit.org 3 San Francisco $1,054 $12,648 4 Chicago $978 $11,738 How will rail transit benefit Hawaii’s economy? Will 5 transit attract riders$946Honolulu? rail Philadellphia in $11,346 Rail transit, poised to break ground in late of commute times and easing of parking pressures Judging both by national trends of rail ridership system is up 9%. In Los Angeles – a city that more people are turning to rail transit as a way to and by 6 current Seattle ridership of TheBus, Honolulu $944 $11,327 loves its cars – rail ridership is up over 15%. In save money and avoid traffic hassles. (To see theWhy don’t we just 2009, will generate an estimated 11,000 jobs in will benefit employers and employees island-wide. construction and related According to APTA’s 7 Honolulu the answer is a resounding YES. $935 $11,215 Seattle, it’s up 28%, in Charlotte, 34%, and in full APTA report go to www.apta.com/research/add more buses? industries. Transit-oriented “ Every dollar taxpayers report, Dollars & Sense: According to recent data from the American 8 Washington DC Public Transportation Association, rail rider- Sacramento, rail ridership has increased 43% in $883 just a year. $10,593 stats/ridership.) As for Honolulu, we already have the fourth- development – the creation invest generates $6 or more The Economic Case forAdding more buses is not cost-effective or ship is increasing dramatically across the U.S. 9 Los Angeles $871 the country, light rail $10,455 Across ridership is highest public transit ridership-per-capita in the of shops, services, and Public Transportation inpractical. Buses cost more to operate than rail,and during peak hours our crowded streets cannot housing in the vicinity of in economic returns. ” America, “Every dollar In Portland, San Francisco, New York, and 10 Minneapolis Washington, DC, rail ridership has increased up 11.2%, commuter rail is up 5.3%, and even heavy rail – which includes some of$10,302 $859 the nation’s nation, and it’s still on the rise, up 4% in 2008. Rail transit is a way to save money (see the transit stations – will attract new investment and taxpayers invest in public transportation generateshandle more buses. more than 5% in the last year. The Dallas DART most mature systems – is up 4.4%. More and savings chart) and provide options for those who create even more jobs. More jobs and businesses $6 or more in economic returns.” Currently, TheBus accommodates about cannot easily drive to, or park at, their destinations. help fund state and city services. And the reduction230,000 daily passenger trips, and ridership is SAVING MONEY BY RIDING MASS TRANSITgrowing as gas prices increase. According to CITY MONTHLY SAVINGS ANNUAL SAVINGSFederal Transit Administration data, Honolulu APTA’s monthly “Transit Savings Report” 1 Boston $1,124 $13,490has the fourth-highest ridership-per-capita in the shows how much a family can save byentire nation. 2 New York $1,119 $13,431 taking public transportation and “Increasing our fleet by 50%, as some have living with one less household car. 3 San Francisco $1,054 $12,648suggested, would result in a nonstop ribbon ofbuses along our major streets and further slow 4 Chicago $978 $11,738traffic,” according to Roger Morton, president ofO‘ahu Transportation Services. Increased traffic 5 Philadelphia $946 $11,346 “United States and in countries throughout the Rail is tested and trusted in cities acrossalso makes it hard for TheBus to offer reliable 6 Seattle $944 $11,327 the world. Rail is a modern, reliable, convenient,service. During rush hour, most buses are already 7 Honolulu $935 $11,215full, and getting fuller (the same is true for car- and environmentally-friendly alternative topool and bus lanes). Buses get stuck in traffic with San Diego Miami 8 Washington, DC $883 $10,593 clogged freeways and expensive fossil fuelseveryone else, so despite best efforts, TheBus hasan on-time average of just 65%. 9 Los Angeles 10 Minneapolis $871 $859 $10,455 $10,302 that pollute our air. ” — Former state transportation directors Fujio Matsuda, Buses are also not without impact. An accelerat- Ed Hirata, Kazu Hayashida and Rod Haraga,ing bus is louder than a modern rail system, emits The top 10 cities with the highest transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase and former deputy state health director James Kumagai of a monthly public transit pass, factoring in local gas prices (as reported by AAA on 9/4/08) and the local monthlygreenhouse gases, and uses increasingly costly unreserved parking rate.and scarce petroleum products. Operating a com-parably larger bus fleet would be more costly thanoperating an integrated bus/rail system. Across What about salt-airthe country, the cost per passenger-mile for rail is and corrosion? Why won’t “HOT” lanes or roadways work?approximately 1/3 less than the cost for buses. Some have been concerned that a steel-wheel HOT lanes are High-Occupancy Toll lanes, where traffic congestion instead of reducing it, since they Building elevated bus roadways won’t solve the system would experience corrosion due to our drivers traveling alone pay a fee to use carpool continue to promote automobile usage, and bringproblem either, since the buses eventually wind tropical, humid, salt-air conditions. But, to be lanes. Typically, HOT lanes make use of under- more vehicles into downtown Honolulu and sur- Atlanta Vancouver sure, this is not the kind of experimental material used carpool lanes but, as we know, in Honolulu rounding areas.up back in street traffic again, stuck with every- and construction that caused problems at Aloha most carpool lanes are already full. HOT lanes and roadways are only viableone else, and adding to the problem. What’s more,elevated bus roadways cost more to build, and Why will the tracks be elevated? Stadium. Special elevated HOT roadways have been for those who are able and willing to pay the Dedicated elevated guideways ensure that trains than rail lines built at ground level. Steel-wheel rail transit has been used success- proposed for Honolulu, but would cost more additional costs. In Seattle, HOT lanes cost $4 totake up more room, than rail guideways. fully in many tropical and ocean-side environments will never be impacted by traffic on roads. When Guideways will be approximately 30 feet high to build, take up more space, and cause more $9 one-way; in Orange County it’s as high as $10; For the greatest efficiencies of cost, service and for decades, including Miami, Bangkok, Manila, community disruption than rail transit lines in Washington, DC the proposed fee is $200 per highways slow, or even stop, rail transit keeps on in most areas, supported by six-foot diameterreliability, Honolulu needs an integrated system of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Rio de Janeiro. capable of carrying far more passengers. week. They’re often called “Lexus Lanes.” Mean- moving without delay or interruption. In turn, rail columns about 150 feet apart.rail, buses, ferries, bicycle lanes, car pools, taxis, Even our own 100-year-old O‘ahu Railway What’s more, the City’s Alternatives Analysis while, working families who can’t afford the toll transit will not interfere with roadway traffic. Rail stations will also be elevated, equippedand private vehicles. tracks are still in use on the ‘Ewa Plain, and are showed that elevated HOT lanes actually increase are stuck in even worse traffic than before. Elevated rail guideways require a smaller with elevators and/or escalators, and will be still visible on Nimitz Highway leading to the old construction and operational footprint minimizing completely ADA accessible. A‘ala Park train station. impact to property owners and the community –
QA & Honolulu Rail TRansiT Why is rail transit such an Why is rail transit considered eco-friendly? important investment in Honolulu’s future? Building rail transit has long been viewed by health experts as an excellent way to limit Since Statehood, our community has invested harmful vehicle emissions and improve air quality. The transportation sector is one of the largest in the Pali Tunnels and Highway, the Wilson contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and our island’s carbon footprint. Rail transit enhances Tunnel and Likelike Highway, the H-1, H-2 and H-3 our environmental quality of life in numerous ways: freeways, as well as many non-transportation n Honolulu rail transit will be electrically-powered and benefit from the most promising projects like Ala Moana and Central O‘ahu parks, Blaisdell Center, our community colleges and the advances in alternative energy sources, like H-power, wind, solar and bio-fuels. University of Hawai‘i. n Rail is more energy-efficient than single-occupant cars and trucks, consuming 37% The community leaders and concerned citizens less energy per passenger-mile, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. of those times past had the foresight and dedica- n It will take more than 25,000 cars and trucks off our highways and roads each day. tion to plan for the future, to the benefit of all of us n It is the quietest of all mass-transit alternatives. today. Rail transit, as part of an integrated mass- As the Sierra Club’s report Missing the Train concludes, “We can move our workforce more transit system, is an investment in Honolulu’s efficiently and generate more jobs...through greater investment in public transportation sources. We future – growing our economy, protecting our will also enjoy benefits including better air and water quality, greater public health, less sprawl, and environment, strengthening our community, and more independence for our aging population. A more balanced transportation system...is a winning providing reliable and affordable transportation combination for the economy, for families, and for individual commuters’ quality of life.” for generations to come. When will rail transit service actually begin? The projected schedule for rail transit is: Completion of Final Environmental Impact Study – summer 2009 Groundbreaking and start of construction – late 2009 First segment completed – 2012 Segments opened on completion – 2012 to 2017 Completion of 20-mile route from Kapolei to Ala Moana – 2018 - - - Extensions to Honolulu International Airport, Waikıkı, UH Manoa, and Kalaeloa will be built pending future funding.Miami FOR FURTHER READING AND SOURCE DATA, VISIT THESE WEBSITES: American Public Transportation Association – www.apta.com Federal Transit Administration – www.fta.dot.gov Honolulu On The Move – www.honolulutransit.org Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization – www.oahumpo.org The Sierra Club – www.sierraclub.com This brochure is provided by the City & County of Honolulu as part of the public information program required by the Federal Transportation Administration. To learn more, visit www.honolulutransit.org or call the Project Hotline at 566-2299. PAID FOR BY CITY TAXPAYERS