Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Voters Again Support Rail by Creating HART

The City Charter amendment to create the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) passed overwhelmingly with 68.58 percent of the vote yesterday, and let’s be clear about what it means:

Honolulu citizens without question are solidly behind the Honolulu rail project. HART’s creation is yet another rejection of anti-railers’ claims that rail transit lacks the electorate’s support.

Their support was evident as recently as September in the primary election, when two pro-rail mayoral candidates -- City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle and Acting-Mayor Kirk Caldwell – finished one-two in that race and left the anti-rail candidate in their dust.

Voters supported rail in 2008 when they approved the concept of a steel-on-steel transit system. And now they’ve endorsed creation of a semi-autonomous transit authority to build, operate and maintain Honolulu rail.

That isn’t the only good news for rail in the election. Hawaii’s new governor will be former 10-term Congressman Neil Abercrombie, who is solidly behind the project and can be expected to accept rail’s Final Environmental Impact Statement early in his term.

Abercrombie defeated the state’s lieutenant governor, who during the campaign increasingly echoed his boss’s concerns about rail’s finances and threatened to withhold acceptance of the FEIS.

Year after year in election after election, Honolulu voters have supported rail. The opponents no doubt will ramp up their rhetoric to the contrary, but despite their protests, rail transit is what the public wants and expects to be built.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Election followup: US House Transportation chair Jim Oberstar (D) MN was defeated yesterday. However, new committee chair John Mica (R) FL is also a fan of mass transit.
Read more about him on this blog:
BTT Honolulu