Tuesday, April 5, 2011

As if On Cue, Public Radio Airs Transit Series

The negative tone that’s recently characterized local media coverage of the Honolulu rail project (see yesterday’s post) could use a counter-balancing shot of reality from cities where rail transit is an unqualified success.

Hawaii Public Radio provided it late this afternoon in the time slot reserved from 4 to 5 o’clock each Tuesday on KIPO-FM for Humankind, the syndicated program produced for National Public Radio by David Freudberg.

The first half of a two-hour audio documentary titled Passengers featured interviews with typical Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia transit users, including a man who accepted his county’s challenge to go car-free for a month. He and his wife both eventually switched from driving to work to commuting by the bus/Metro system and sold one of their cars.

Today’s time slot also featured a visit to the train car manufacturing plant of Ansaldo Breda, the company that won the “core systems” contract for Honolulu’s future grade-separated system.

You can download a free podcast of Passengers at the Humankind website. It’s definitely worth 60 minutes of your time.

Rail supporters will appreciate first-person stories on how transit has improved the quality of life for train and bus users. And rail opponents might just hear enough to shake their conviction that Honolulu residents won’t ride Honolulu's train. DC-area residents would scoff at the thought.

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