One would have thought he’d have unveiled details of his bus rapid transit plan in 12 days, let alone 12 weeks, due to the magnitude of his proposal to kill rail. Yet we’re still waiting to learn how a plan written 12 years ago during the Harris Administration could out-perform rail and accomplish the project's goals of restoring mobility, reducing travel times, guiding future development and ensuring transportation equity for all economic categories.
All we can presume for sure is that it would be cheaper than building an elevated rail guideway that will avoid all surface traffic, but as most consumers knows from personal experience, cheaper is hardly ever better. You can still buy one-time-use cameras in drugstores, but for a host of reasons, they can’t compete with costlier cameras that deliver years of satisfaction.
That’s how we’re imagining Mr. Cayetano’s BRT plan – an off-the-shelf and discredited concept that he’s plucked out of obscurity because he needs something to offer the public if he intends to kill rail.
Mr. Cayetano’s campaign will roll into Mililani Uka Elementary School this evening, and we’re guessing BRT details aren’t on the agenda. But based on his earlier comments, Mililani residents are likely to hear about studies that also are 12 years old suggesting BRT could do the same job as rail.
Other factors are part of the process today, and Mililani residents might well ask about them. For example, has Mr. Cayetano read Chapter 2 of the rail project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement? It evaluated a Transit System Management Alternative (TSM) that conceivably would be implemented without constructing a new transit fixed guideway.
Since Mr. Cayetano seems to object most strenuously to the expense and appearance of an elevated guideway, TSM seems closest to what Mr. Cayetano wants to implement. Here are just a few observations from that chapter on the TSM alternative:
The City Council selected the elevated guideway alternative five years ago after all the alternatives were extensively studied. Mr. Cayetano now wants Oahu residents to believe BRT is a better way to go – and he still hasn’t told us how or why.
If this brief Yes2Rail post doesn’t suggest what Mililani residents might ask the candidate tonight, we’re at a loss to know what would.