Friday, July 22, 2011

Rail Revenues Defy Doomrailers’ Predictions

There’s a word we guarantee you’ve never seen before – doomrailer, a blending of doomsayer, “a person who predicts impending misfortune or disaster,” and anti-railer. You know what and who they are. (See Yes2Rail Dictionary at end of this post.)

We’ve heard a lot of doomrailer predictions about what Hawaii’s weak economy over the past few years means for the Honolulu rail project. Former Governor Linda Lingle was so taken (in) by those predictions that she commissioned a report to analyze rail’s financial picture. It concluded general excise tax revenues could be 30 percent below expectations.

Doomrailer assessments have been consistently refuted over the past two years (see here and here), and the latest news nails it: Total GET revenues since January 2007 are $15 million more than originally projected – $715 million and growing daily.

The City reports revenues for fiscal year 2011, which ended three weeks ago, were $179.1 million, 9 percent higher than projected in the project’s most recent financial plan.

“This is good news, particularly in this difficult economy,” said Toru Hamayasu, interim executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). “Strong GET collections will help us keep our finances on track and deliver this project on time and on budget.” HART Finance Committee chair Don Horner added: “The news is encouraging because it continues to validate the overall financial plan. Equally important, the overall total bid costs to date are actually below the project’s financial estimates. With 40 percent of the costs known, the project remains on a sound financial footing.”

About that Word

This latest financial assessment of Honolulu rail appears to have left anti-railing/doomsaying opponents taken aback. They’re not quoted anywhere in the media’s coverage of this story so far.

As for doomrailer, we’re going to claim its coinage. There’s only one other Google “hit” on that word outside our usage (which you'll now find there), and that was in a 2009 article in the Italian edition of Marie Claire, a French women’s monthly magazine. That's too remote, and the article is no longer accessible anyway.

Doomrailer is ours!
Yes2Rail Dictionary
a person who consistently predicts doom and gloom for Honolulu's rail system using magical thinking unshakable by facts.
July 22, 2011 [at Yes2Rail blog]; doom + rail + er;  from doomsayer + anti-railer
Related forms
doomrailing, adjective, noun

1 comment:

sumwonyuno said...

I imagine at the end of the first project, there's going to be a fight... about the surplus tax revenues. Whoever's left as ardent anti-railers will call for tax rebates or holidays, while everyone else will be clamoring for their favorite rail extension.