Wednesday, March 21, 2012

HART's Misrepresentations Are Intolerable!

Yesterday HART issued an email blast. My brief response to HART's selective misrepresentations is as follows. (Sent to Gov. Legislature and City Council.)

HART: Rail provides congestion free transportation

1) Rail is station to station transportation. Hardly anybody resides in or near stations, particularly the stations that HART is developing in the middle of nowhere and next to stadia and big box retailers. So future riders will drive or ride buses thus will be exposed to congestion and delays. And searching for the scant park and ride parking will waste a lot of their time.

2) While on the train you do not have traffic congestion, but you do have a very slow ride. See Chapter One of a recent national report for US for urban trips: Commuter rail, the fastest form of rail with far spaced stations, averages 14.1 mph. Car travel averages 33.2 mph.

3) For the next 30 years Kapolei to UH, Waikiki and beyond will be far faster by car than with any combo that includes rail.

4) The less fudged Alternatives Analysis and DEIS clearly showed that rail is not travel time competitive anywhere east of Aiea.

HART: When rail is built, it will eliminate 40,000 vehicle trips from Oahu's roadways each weekday

Firstly, one has to believe the city's ridership numbers. This is not a good idea; like in San Juan Puerto Rico, where Parsons Brinkerhoff predicted 80,000 riders per day, then FTA approved it. But they got only 25,000. By the way, San Juan is over 3,000,000 people. What does PB predict for the opening year in the tiny corridor of maybe 500,000 people in Honolulu? 97,000 !

Secondly, rail will eliminate 40,000 car trips out of 3.9 Million daily trips on Oahu. How would you like to pay $5 Billion for 1% reduction in trips? Would you like to repeat this with our water mains and sewer line improvements?

Did you try to make the division of $5 Billion by 40,000? It yields a cost of $125,000 for each car-trip saved. That's nuts!

What was the cost per student-trip from the DOE budget that state plans to cut as "unaffordable"? Taken for a Ride: Hawaii Lawmakers Still Plan To Cut School Bus Funding,

Yesteray's email blast from HART

A recent commentary contained incorrect information about the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. Here are the facts from HART:
  • Rail provides a congestion-free transportation choice. Passengers who choose rail will have zero congestion - and that's a fact. The elevated line will be free from traffic delays and accidents on congested streets and highways. Rail will allow riders to bypass the gridlock and reach their destination reliably and on time.
  • When rail is built, it will eliminate 40,000 vehicle trips from Oahu's roadways each weekday - that's tangible traffic relief.