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.