Some rail skeptics over the years have asked how a population totally dependent on the car can be persuaded to use a rail transit system.
Answer: By making it convenient for drivers to access train stations and switch from driving a car to riding as a passenger.
The City’s plans for the Honolulu rail system include four park-and-ride lots – East Kapolei (900 spaces), UH West Oahu (1,000 spaces, shown above), Pearl Highlands (1,600 spaces) and Aloha Stadium (600 spaces).
Rather than drive on congested streets and highways, former car commuters will be able to walk or take a bus to the most convenient rail station for them or drive to one of the four park-and-ride lots. From there, commuting will be far different than before, with time to read a book or newspaper, work on a laptop, enjoy the passing landscape or even sleep.
The system also intends to provide several dedicated kiss-and-ride pullouts – passenger drop off locations where commuters and students can be dropped off for their trip across town.
Time and again, former car commuters have shown a strong preference for rail after a system opens. The Honolulu rail project anticipates much the same reaction by Honolulu commuters; road congestion is expected to be reduced by about 20 percent once the system is fully operational compared to what it would be without rail, thanks in part to the convenience of park-and-ride lots.
You can read all about Honolulu’s future system at the project’s website; the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is found in the Library section.