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December 2007

President's Message
League's Goal
Con Con Study Committee Reports (Jean Aoki)
Honolulu League Strongly Opposing Rail (Pearl Johnson)
Gleanings from Our Readings (Jean Aoki)
Amending the State Constitution (Harold G. Loomis)
Drug Policy Study (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Ah Jook Ku
Tennessee Really Makes it Hard! (Jean Aoki)
In Support of the LWV-HI (Jackie Parnell)
League Immigration Policy (Jackie Parnell)
Iron-Jawed Angels Fundraiser (Jackie Parnell & Mary Anne Raywid)
Hawaii Chapter Report (Leilani Bronson-Crelly & Sue Dursin)
Kauai Chapter Report
Honolulu Chapter Report (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Website Update - - the first year (Stephen Trussel)

Honolulu League Strongly Opposing Rail

[Editor's note: To date, LWV-HI has taken no position on the matter of rail for Oahu. But the Honolulu League has been active in opposing it. Pearl Johnson, who chairs the group's Committee on Planning and Transportation here explains why.]

The League of Women Voters of  Honolulu opposes the Mayor's rail transit plan because it may lead our city into a fiscal black hole without improving traffic conditions. The mayor now says the rail transit system will cost $5 billion, of which the federal government will pay $1 billion (although no city has received more than $750 million).  Even taking his own lowball cost figure of $5 billion, and the unrealistically high federal subsidy of $1 billion, Oahu taxpayers would have to come up with $4 billion for a system which, by the mayor's own analysis of alternatives, would leave traffic congestion at its present unacceptable level.

A far better solution is an elevated roadway for buses, vanpools, emergency vehicles, and high occupancy vehicles.  An elevated highway would cost a fraction of the rail system, of which the Federal Highway Administration might provide an 80% subsidy.

Express buses entering the elevated highway could proceed to town at 60 miles per hour.  Because trains must stop at every stop, their average speed would be 25 mph.

Buses could carry as many as or more passengers than the train, at far greater speeds.  Buses could go from where people live to where people work, which trains bound by tracks could not do.  The linear train can not go into neighborhoods where people live.  Few would choose to take a bus to the train, get off the train in town, then take a bus to where they work.

Pearl Johnson, Chair
Planning &Transportation Committee

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