Sunday, October 19, 2008

Documenting Proven Steel Wheel Technology

• NOTE: We've cited the City's Alternatives Analysis report on the project repeatedly at this blog and recommend it as a source of factual information on the Honolulu steel wheel system. Click here to access this super-detailed document.

Tucked inside your Honolulu Sunday newspaper is the City’s eight-page brochure on the steel wheel project with easy-to-read super factoids about the system. One of the most striking displays is titled: Why was steel-wheel technology chosen for Honolulu?

The short answer is that the technology was identified as far superior to other technologies and was recommended by a panel of verifiable transit experts (well, the 80% that recommended steel are transit experts; the dissenter is a highway expert).

A chart in the brochure compares the technologies in nine critical areas: lowest construction costs; lowest cost to maintain and operate; qualifies for federal transit funding; highest passenger capacity; electric-powered, can run on wind, solar, H-power (it also might have included ocean power); lightest construction impact on community; greatest relief of traffic congestion; lowest operating noise levels, and most proven mass transit solution.

Steel wheels scored YES on each of them; elevated HOT toll roads rated NO on each, and rubber-tire fixed guideway rated NO on four of the nine.

Rail is the proven technology compared to the alternatives; 56 of 62 projects funded by the Federal Transit Administration since 1992 are steel systems. Check out the newspaper insert for more on the technology selection.

Community Update Meetings

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

• 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.

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