CIVIL BEAT QUESTIONS
1. How do you think the city should pay for the operation and maintenance of rail once it’s built?
Shouldn’t this O & M costs be addressed at the initial stages?
This flawed Rail project began with Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) executive Wayne Yoshioka being appointed by Mayor Mufi Hannemann as City Transportation Director.
City then contracted with PB to design the rail route. City then hired InfraConsult LLC to coordinate with PB. (Three PB principals formed InfraConsult prior to the City’s contract).
HART, the semi-autonomous transit authority, was formed with nine appointed directors with no transit background. (Mr. Robert Bunda, fellow candidate, joined the HART Board in 2013.)
The 2012 federal Porter Report stated that Oahu had the ability to pay for its rail project, but must forgo other expenses!
HART recently shifted this unknown O &M duty to the City Transportation but retained the lucrative Transit Orient Development (TOD).
Earlier, Mayor Caldwell and HART disputed city council’s jurisdiction over HART fiscal decisions. Today, Caldwell and HART want the council to sell $44M bonds to appease the FTA!
Experts have questioned the ridership estimate of 119,600 trips per day. It’s nearly twice the ridership per kilometer of Miami’s heavy rail – a metropolitan area five times the size of Honolulu.
This ridership estimate is also little higher than Atlanta’s with a population six times the size of Honolulu, according to Erick Guerra, assistant professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Tren Urbano in San Juan, Puerto Rico achieved only 23% of its ridership projection. Rail bonds contributed to its accumulated $74 Billion bankruptcy.
When will the oligarchy stop this fiscal insanity and reassess this runaway project?