Thursday, October 16, 2008

Economy, Environment, Growth Among Goals; City Has Four More Updates in the Next Week

Here’s the schedule for the remaining Community Update meetings on the Honolulu Rail Transit Project:

• Tonight – 6 to 8, Waipahu Intermediate School, 94-455 Farrington Highway, Waipahu.
• Tuesday, 10/21 – 6 to 8, Blaisdell – Hawaii Suite, 777 Ward Avenue, Honolulu.
• Wednesday, 10/22 – 6 to 8, Farrington High School, 1564 North King Street, Honolulu.
• Thursday, 10/23 – 6 to 8, Mililani Waena Elementary, 95-502 Kipapa Drive, Mililani.

Yesterday we reviewed three of the City’s goals in building its steel wheel system, so we’ll round out the list of six today starting with the Economy. An estimated 7,500 jobs will be created by the project over the next eight years, resulting in more than 90,000 “person years” of employment in direct and indirect jobs. The estimated multiplier effect on the project’s investment is six; for every dollar spent on the project, the community will receive six dollars of benefit.

One of the myths about the system’s impact on the Environment that was addressed at last night’s forum at Manoa Elementary school is that Hawaiian Electric Company would have to build another generation plant to power the system. City representatives said it’s not true; HECO says it will have sufficient resources to meet the system’s electricity demand. And as we’ve noted here many times, Honolulu’s train system is likely to eventually be run exclusively on renewable energy from the sun, sea, winds and biofuels.

Lastly, Sustainable Growth is another project goal – focusing growth in designated areas, such as near train stations, and away from areas that might best be left for agriculture or open space. As some like to say, it will help “keep the country country.”

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