CB is progressing through the August 21 commentary and already has concluded that two major claims are FALSE , and it’s working on others; the one TRUE judgment was nothing more than validation of a state official's verbal mistake.
While we await CB’s conclusions on other issues (we’ve already projected another FALSE ), let’s look at what Mr. Slater has posted at his website and at HawaiiReporter.com – a suggestion (with a question mark behind it) that TheBus will travel from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center faster than Honolulu’s future train.
This is classic Slater – right up there with his assertion that Honolulu rail will be a failure if traffic on Oahu continues to grow even after rail is in service. What he doesn’t say, of course, is that traffic naturally will grow with the addition of hundreds of thousands of new residents – and that congestion would be worse without rail than with it. He only acknowledges that under duress, as he was forced to admit at a City Council hearing last year.
Notice how Mr. Slater confuses the reader – deliberately, we suspect – by equating “travel time” with “transit time.” Travel time includes all time a commuter spends traveling from home to the final destination. It involves going to the nearest station by walking, riding a bike, taking TheBus, driving, being dropped off, roller skating, skateboarding or whatever – and traveling from the arrival station to the final destination. Transit time is how many minutes it takes for a train to go between stations – e.g., 42 minutes between East Kapolei to Ala Moana.
He also misleads by mixing up destinations in his HawaiiReporter piece – first by noting the transit time from East Kapolei all the way to the end of the line, then switching to travel time to reach the Downtown station from the East Kapolei neighborhood.
Consistency would have required Mr. Slater to say the train’s transit time will be only 37-38 minutes to the Downtown station from East Kapolei. The total travel time for someone living quite near the East Kapolei station conceivably could be only about 40 minutes.
The one true statement in Mr. Slater's piece is that more than 6 minutes is required to travel between the Iwilei and Ala Moana stations. The actual time of just under 8 minutes is possible because the train will average 25 mph between the stations, much faster than TheBus can drive between those stations. (Rounded transit times between five stations produced the difference.)
The train from Kapolei into town will accomplish what it’s designed to do and TheBus can't – serve the entire population along its route by picking up and dropping off passengers 16 times before it arrives downtown. Even with those stops, the train will average 30 mph while being a fast, frequent, reliable and safe travel option for its passengers by avoiding all surface congestion.
An express bus traveling in the Zip lane on the H-1 freeway stops for nobody. It’s designed for one reason – to move people from one end to the other, with little ability to serve the thousands of residents living and working in between. Route C's map shows no stops to serve Waipahu, Pearl City, the airport area, large sections of Kalihi and other communities. Rail will be the essential component and heart of Honolulu’s future multi-modal transportation system to achieve its four goals. TheBus can’t compete in that arena.
When someone sews confusion so consistently, before long his entire line of reasoning is suspect, and that’s what has happened with Mr. Slater’s decades-long anti-rail campaign.
Those paying attention over the years have known it for a long time, and now independent fact checker Civil Beat is discovering it, too. So much for the radio host's joyful statement that "this particular piece is going to be at the heart of how the general public forms its opinions about the rail project."