Sunday, February 16, 2020

Rail’s Messaging Has Changed? So Says a Star-Advertiser Columnist, but Nothing’s Changed about Rail’s Promise – Traffic-Free Commuting for Those Who Ride It

                         Honolulu's elevated trains will be true to a timetable.

Lee Cataluna’s column in Sunday's Star-Advertiser asserted that the Honolulu elevated rail project recently has changed its messaging.  

Maybe yes, maybe no. I personally couldn’t quite zero in on what she meant, but I do know what hasn’t changed:

Rail will provide traffic-free commuting to each and every person who chooses to ride it.

That’s it. That’s the unchanging promise of rail. Quibble about some messages if you want, but when this project is up and running (sooner than later, we hope), rail will be the sought-after alternative to being stuck in traffic.

Does anyone seriously doubt traffic-free commuting will appeal to south-side commuters? Do media pundits truly believe trains running between Kapolei and downtown during peak commute times won't be full?

The long wait for the rail project has pushed some observers to go all cynical, all the time (newspaper columnists require no time at all to get there). The delays and cost increases have been frustrating, but in the end, scores of thousands of daily commuters will praise the decision to build rail, and here’s why:

Grade-separated transit is the only form of transportation that guarantees a time of arrival at your destination. 

When you board an elevated train, you’ll know exactly when you’ll step off at the station of your choice.

That’s rail's main message, and it has never changed.

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