Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rail Study Back in News with $227 Million Error; National Passenger Group Supports Honolulu Rail

Here’s a story you probably won’t be reading in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat, the $20/month online subscription news service, continues to do some of the best journalism in town and has another news break on Infrastructure Management Group's study of Honolulu rail’s financial plan.

CB’s first ground-shifter was its revelation that anti-rail activist Tom Rubin helped write the study, which says the project will cost $1.7 billion more to build than the City’s projection.

Civil Beat reports today that IMG made a $227 million error in comparing its estimate with the City’s figures. CB says IMG used a City construction estimate that did not include finance charges, then compared it to a number recommended by the federal government that does include finance charges.

The difference between the two dissimilar estimates was $227 million. “It’s as if (IMG) compared apples to oranges,” CB writes in its Members-Only content.

The City is doing its own evaluation of IMG’s study and will release it at a date as yet uncertain. The rail project’s deputy manager provided an assessment a few days ago.

NARP Wants To Ride

The National Association of Railroad Passengers has issued a statement that also notes activist Rubin’s involvement with the IMG study.

“The inflated cost projections in a study led by an anti-train ideologue should not dissuade the people of Hawaii from taking advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to make a great American city even greater,” NARP’s statement says.
“While the rail line will have higher initial costs than bus rapid transit, the enhanced ride comfort, greater passenger capacity, higher ridership potential, superior energy efficiency, and capacity to spur transit-oriented economic development make rail well worth the additional cost. Honolulu’s train stations can become the focal points of lively town centers with high-quality places to live, work, shop and play, all within walking distance. Such places give people a real choice in how to get around and promote a healthier, more physically-active lifestyle.”

NARP members are used to long train trips across the continent, but we hope they’ll make long-range plans to ride Honolulu’s 20-mile elevated line in a decade or so. The view from the trains will be spectacular.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To the City and County of Honolulu,
Why not just, "wish upon a star?" It is the season you know!
Hawaii has one of the largest per capata of movie stars with homes here! So ASK, all they can do is say no. You might be very surprised! It won't cast you a thing to ask!
You have the address to write to them, Just Do It. Rail would help traffic, and help with Employment!
Aloha Love from Neighbor Susie