Honolulu Magazine floated this “personal transit” concept last September with what we dubbed the Shaxi-Pool solution – a combination of shuttles, taxis and car pools. The suggestion that our high-capacity requirements can be met with shuttles dispatched to one’s door with a phone call is simply incredible.
The HumanTransit website, which we’ve previously recommended, looks at this utopian transit “solution” under a headline “how urbanist visionaries can muck up transit.” It begins:
Human Transit’s Jarrett Walker invites readers to watch a video from a Los Angeles architectural firm – a nicely produced and clever piece of computer-generated eye candy that he calls “a concise summary of all the crucial mistakes that you’ll need to confront in much ‘visionary thinking’ about transit.”
That’s what Honolulu magazine imagined, too: “Forget train tracks and bus lines. Imagine a network of on-demand shuttle buses. From your home or your phone, you send the network a request to go somewhere….”
Walker is describing Los Angeles in his Human Transit post, but the points apply just as well to Honolulu, which has a bus system that frequently runs near or at capacity. Here’s how he addresses the concept of calling up delivery of your transit ride just like you’d order a pizza:
Spend a few minutes with Walker’s Human Transit site watching the video and reading his commentary. You’ll have a handful of responses to use if someone’s idea of pau hana conversation is how to save billions by not building rail and instead planning our city’s transit around smart phone apps.
Win Some, Lose Some
The State has denied Bombardier’s appeal of the City’s disqualification of the company’s bid to build, operate and maintain the Honolulu rail line.
Yesterday’s hearing by the Hawai`i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs contained some colorful language to describe Bombardier’s behavior during the bidding process, as reported by Civil Beat.
“Was there a hammer involved that needed to be hit over the head?” asked an attorney for the City. “You can lead a horse to water, you can’t make a horse drink,” opined a representative of Ansaldo, the winning bidder.
On the plus side, Bombardier has received a $330 million order from the Chicago Transit Authority for 300 additional rail cars.
Sumitomo, the other losing bidder, has its hearing today; we’ll update this post with those results.