By extension, they insist the same thing about Honolulu’s future rail system. “Oahu residents will never give up their cars,” they say, but that attitude doesn’t synch with 21st century realities. Says one rail advocate:
Los Angeles is well along in developing its rail transit system, as detailed in a recent New York Times article that contains the above quote. Traffic congestion has made urban living almost unbearable for vast numbers of Southern California residents.
The same is true on Oahu, and congestion will only get worse with population growth on an island with no room for new highways. Honolulu rail will attract riders for the same reasons Angelenos start using the city’s new subways and other rail lines, such as the planned Exposition Light Rail line – freedom from traffic congestion.
“The science of public transit is not too complicated,” says Robert B. Cervero, director of the University of California Transportation Center in Berkeley, as quoted in the Times article.
Anti-railers argue that multiple tasks during the day (dropping clothes at the cleaner, kids at school, etc.) will keep commuters in their cars, and that’s surely true for some of them. But many others will rethink their car use once they grasp that Honolulu’s grade-separated rail system offers congestion-free travel. Honolulu rail will be superior to driving for both cost and convenience, the two primary reasons drivers become riders.