“Forget train tracks and bus lines,” he writes. “Imagine a network of on-demand shuttle buses. From your home or your phone, you send the network a request to go somewhere…. “
The network would analyze your request, search for similar requests from your neighbors and dispatch a shuttle driver to swing by and pick you up. “You get door-to-door service in shared vehicles that only go where they need to go, and only when they need to go somewhere.”
All Aboard the “Shaxi-Pool”?
Napier says this isn’t a bus line or taxi service; “it’s something else entirely. In my wildest fantasy, every car owner in Honolulu can join the network as drivers as long as they’re willing to pick up and drop off their fellow citizens as they go about their own business.”
Napier’s fantasy sounds like what you'd get by blending shuttles, taxis and car pools – the Shaxi-Pool – and maybe it would work in a community that needs such a service.
But it’s obviously not a “solution” to Oahu’s biggest and growing transportation problem – congestion on our east-west roads and highways, morning and night and other times. Don’t take our word for it; the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization says that’s the one, and so has every other reality-based assessment.
Elevated above surface traffic, Honolulu rail will give the commuter an option to being stuck in traffic congestion. Whatever its imagined merits, Shaxi-Pool would keep its customers in the same traffic that the rail commuter will completely avoid.
Napier apparently thinks rail transit fails because it doesn't clean up all that traffic congestion. He looks to Los Angeles as a model for failed rail and writes ”traffic is still congested….”
No kidding. Los Angeles has traffic congestion. And that’s a reason not to build rail on Oahu?
The Honolulu rail project has evolved over decades. Once built, it will serve generations of Oahu residents. Maybe one of them will want Shaxi-Pool, but there’s nothing to suggest it’s ours.