Let’s take a few examples of large developments that occurred on a 6-mile corridor in Honolulu between 1992 and 2008:
- Extensive hotel and retail renovations in Waikiki
- Two new towers at Hilton Hawaiian Village
- The Hawaii Convention Center
- Ala Moana Center nearly doubled in size
- Three colossal Nauru towers
- Several other large buildings along Kapiolani Blvd. and in Kakaako
- UH’s Kakaako Medical Complex
- Aloha Tower Marketplace development
- A couple of new towers in downtown Honolulu including First Hawaiian Bank tower, the state’s tallest building
- Redevelopment of Dole Cannery and the large Costco complex in Iwilei.
Lesson: You do not need rail for development and opportunities to flourish. You need a robust economy, a well-paid populous, low taxes, good quality products and services (tourism, education, local products, etc.), steady and smart leadership, and reliable infrastructure and government operations. Rail is simply a scheme to rob a million people (through taxes) in order to benefit a few hundred insiders and a few thousand workers, most of them temporary.