Thursday, October 4, 2012

B, C, E, 3, 9, 11, 20, 43, 53, 73, 81, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98A, 101, 102, 103, 201, 202

The title of this article is not the code for a very nerdy version of the Hawaii-based LOST television series.

These are all the bus routes that will be eliminated or terminated to the nearest rail station. See Final EIS appendix D.

We all know how the public reacted to the relatively manini changes to TheBus last summer. Wait until two dozen routes are drastically changed.

Several of these routes are express providing a competitive service. Many of them are heavily used.

In addition several new and confusing "feeder" routes will be added. So basically the No.1 transit bus in the nation will be dismantled and reconfigured to provide life support for the rail.

Rail's ridership would be much closer to zero than the projected 90,000-some riders per day in the opening year, without dismantling and rearranging the majority of TheBus as we know it today, given that (1) nobody lives at the stations and (2) the whole rail line will have only four park-and-ride lots.

The total bus ridership that will be forced to transfer each day is found on page 46: 69,480 rail riders daily will come from the bus.  That's round trip.

So, over 30,000 bus riders daily will be forced to get out of their bus and transfer to rail going to their destination. They may also need to catch a bus at the other end to get to their final destination (i.e., from Ala Moana Center to UH, Waikiki, and from other stations to all the ridges and valleys that the rail does not serve.)  Coming home they will have the reverse transfers from bus to rail to bus. There will be chaos.

What is the logic of providing such a disservice to the loyal transit riders of TheBus?

In conclusion then, B, C, E, 3, 9, 11, 20, 43, 53, 73, 81, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98A, 101, 102, 103, 201, 202 is the code for transit failure by design in Honolulu.

Fixing the Basics on Rail for Hawaii's Pro-rail Politicians

Full article in Hawaii Reporter. It closes as follows:

If Hawaii's pro-rail politicians are really interested in improving transit in the county of Honolulu, they may begin their education on the history of elevated rail in sunshine cities by simply reading about Miami's Metrorail, and San Juan’s Tren Urbano. Here are a few highlights for Metrorail and Tren Urbano.

Miami’s Elevated Heavy Rail: They got 80% Federal funds but still they run out of money due to cost overruns. (Honolulu gets only 30%).  Ridership forecast was about 200,000 riders (Honolulu's is about 120,000 riders).  When the first segment of the single line opened ridership was only 10,000.  In 1990, six years after opening, it reached only 25% of its forecast ridership or about 50,000! They too ordered trains from Ansaldo and there were allegations of conflicts in the procurement.

San Juan, Elevated Heavy Rail: They got 50% Federal funds but still there was a 74% escalation of construction costs (+74% over budget!)  There was a huge escalation of combined bus and rail operation and maintenance cost after the line was opened. Combined costs shot up by +250%!  There was a downgrade of Puerto Rico’s bond ratings and new taxes were enacted to pay the debt. There was a dramatic decline of total transit ridership (bus and rail) because the train dismantled their bus. It is now more than six years since its opening in 2006 and the train has not reached 50% of its opening year forecast ridership!

Bottom line is that trains are like wind mills. Their theoretical capacity is high and the promises for power and ridership are full of hype.  Once installed reality kicks in and they prove to be only ~25% productive...