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Potential mass transit stations identified

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Potential mass transit stations identified

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

Planners have released potential locations for mass transit stations on O'ahu.

A news release from the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project stated the stations are along all of the possible transit routes being considered for a fixed guideway alternative.

The final station locations won't be decided until the route is chosen.

The fixed guideway alternative, alternative 4, would create a "mix-and-match" of fixed guideway alignments along the length of the project. The corridor is divided into five regional sections, with all of the alignment options presented as individual segments (color-coded on the section maps available at www.honolulutransit.org) within each section.

The sections are shown in the maps below.

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Story continued:

Rail stops seen as key to community growth

City maps reveal prospective routes and stops on an Oahu rail line

Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin

Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Micah Kane envisions a day when future homesteaders on the Ewa plains can live, play, work and go to school within the same community.

"This is going to be the piko (center) of the second city," Kane said, pointing to a map of East Kapolei and Ewa.

Councilman Romy Cachola foresees Kalihi without a jail and a brighter economy.

"That's 18 acres of land, and that's a very valuable piece of land," Cachola said of the Oahu Community Correctional Center site.

And the catalyst for all that, they and others say, could be locating a rail transit route and transit stations in those communities.

The city is slated to release its suggestions today on where to locate transit stops along four possible rail alignments, all of which begin in Kapolei. The report is being compiled as part of the analysis of mass transit alternatives the city must complete to obtain federal funding. Once the study is done, the City Council must decide on a mass transit system.

Kane, Cachola and others said the location of the rail routes and transit stops are important components to the direction of growth, traffic and lifestyle.

"It's huge," Kane said. "It has significant social impacts with the things we're trying to accomplish in the region. It's not just about transportation."

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and other area developers prefer the rail transit route that would run along Saratoga Avenue in Kalaeloa and connect with the proposed North-South Road, which is now under construction.

That route would run through several DHHL projects, including two future housing developments and a 67-acre commercial zone. The department is seeking bids to develop the property.

And the route also would run along the border of the future University of Hawaii-West Oahu campus.

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The transit report apparently puts three rail stations along the North-South Road rail line. One of the stations could be located adjacent to DHHL's commercial property, which is right across the road from the city's Varona Village. Now, DHHL is negotiating with the city to gain a large tract of land in Varona.

"(Varona) is attractive because ... it brings down the per-home cost of construction to get the site ready for house construction," Kane said.

In exchange, DHHL might give up its 56-acre Ewa Drum site in Waiawa near Leeward Community College and the crossroads of Farrington and Kamehameha highways. It is a key piece for the transit plan, and it was the starting point in the failed 1992 transit project. DHHL is getting the Drum Site property through a land transfer with the U.S. Navy.

Kane said the transit scenario in Ewa could have several advantages for both Hawaiian homes and the city.

"We see the rail as a complementary asset that our people will benefit from tremendously," said Kane, adding that he sees future homesteaders catching the train to classes to the West Oahu campus or even to Leeward Community College.

Development of the transit centers -- seen as magnets for developments -- on or near DHHL properties could also mean that residents could have jobs in the areas and be a source of generating revenues for the department.

"Not only does it mean that more revenues can be generated by the department so we can get more Hawaiians on the land, but more importantly, it provides jobs, sustainable jobs very close to our communities, and gets people out of their cars to bike to work, to walk to work," Kane said. "It's a quality-of-life issue so that people can sit down for dinner and not sit in their car for an hour and a half getting home."

Kane said that having rail transit centers with park-and-ride lots also could attract more riders.

"Because there is a rail stop there, it brings people there," said City Councilman Todd Apo, transportation chairman and the councilman for West Oahu.

Apo said the city should provide rail service to existing homeowners and should be thinking about the area's future homeowners, too.

While spurring new development, older sections of Honolulu also could benefit from transit stops in their neighborhood.

Cachola and other councilmembers say the project could spur the redevelopment of places like Kalihi if the rail line runs through there.

And Cachola said the jail could be moved and the land redeveloped into a possible transit center.

"The state can sell that land or sell the development rights in that area and recoup the money and use it to put the prison some place else," Cachola said. "If they sell that to developers or even the rights, you make money out of it and use that as a transit center or stop and develop around it."

Comments:

*It looks like the city is finally very serious about possibly adding rail to the city and i hope that they dont waste time and continue to push forward, its been a long time in the making and debating over it. :) It also looks like part of it will be underground in different locations around the city, very cool stuff.

:w00t:

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WHAT'S NEXT?

Public meeting

Details of the proposed transit locations will be discussed by the City Council Transportation Committee at 1 p.m. Thursday in the second-floor committee room of Honolulu Hale.

THE TIMETABLE

Until September 2006. City contractor compiles technical studies on conceptual designs; an analysis of cost estimates; traffic and ridership forecasts; and environmental studies.

October-November 2006: An analysis of alternatives is issued.

November-December 2006: Public hearings.

December 2006: City Council selects preferred alternative.

January 2007: City starts collecting tax to pay for transit.

January to May 2007: Draft environmental impact study is prepared.

2009: Estimated start of construction.

2012: First segment is completed.

2015: Estimated finish of total project.

LEARN MORE

www.honolulutransit.org

News Continued...

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

When Sebastian Florante realized yesterday that the city potentially had placed a mass-transit station at the Kalihi intersection where he recently opened a restaurant, he saw an opportunity for business gain

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I don't know what is going on over there, it seems that they still can't make up there minds as to what they want. All I know is that the proposed costs keep going up and up and up. Honolulu had a chance to build something like this decades ago but of course it got shot down and at this point who knows if they'll ever get anything going. :(

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Here's some updates from the Honolulu Advertiser

UH-West Oahu will get transit station

Council approves 34 stations total; option in place for airport

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The City Council yesterday approved the locations of 34 transit stations along the planned 26-mile commuter rail route stretching from West Kapolei to the University of Hawai'i-Manoa and Waikiki.

As part of the decision, the council agreed to put a train stop within a five-minute walk of the future UH-West O'ahu campus. Prior plans called for that station to be about a quarter-mile away in the new Ho'opili residential and commercial development.

The council also approved stations along a route running through the Salt Lake neighborhood and an alternative route, which may be built in a later phase, that runs next to the Ho-nolulu International Airport.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann hopes to begin construction on the $3.7 billion elevated commuter train late next year.

The change in the location of the UH-West O'ahu station means users will only have to walk about 300 feet to get to campus. That's about 1,000 feet less than the prior plan. The change followed an agreement announced yesterday allowing the city to place a transit station and park-and-ride facility on state land.

"I think we've reached a consensus with everyone in the area," Gene Awakuni, chancellor of UH-West O'ahu, told council members yesterday. "We think it's in an ideal location."

Under current plans, UH and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources will enter into a joint agreement allowing the university to develop housing and commercial projects on a 105-acre state parcel fronting Farrington Highway and North-South Road. The UH-West O'ahu station would be on the diamondhead side of North-South Road. A pedestrian bridge will allow students to more easily cross North-South Road en route to campus.

"It has always been my goal to have a rail station located on, or adjacent to, the new campus, and I'm confident this station will serve the campus very well," Hannemann said in written statement yesterday.

Yesterday's council decision allows the city to proceed with preliminary engineering and the preparation of a draft environmental impact statement, said council member Todd Apo. The exact locations of the stations could vary slightly depending on how those processes develop.

"Based on the information that comes from those two processes, you may end up moving them some," Apo said.

The station locations were approved on a 7-2 vote by the council, with Barbara Marshall and Charles K. Djou opposed.

Rail options still open

In other business yesterday, the council advanced bills that would allow the use of rubber-tire and magnetic levitation technology in the proposed mass-transit system. Those bills face an uphill battle in garnering the council votes needed to pass or override a likely Hannemann veto.

The council has been debating for months whether the transit system should use steel wheels, rubber tires or magnetically levitated vehicles. Council members deadlocked last month in several votes on the technology issue. Hannemann favors steel and has said he will veto any bill that advances another technology.

"We've had extensive discussion of the different technologies already," said council member Gary Okino, who voted against both bills yesterday. "I don't think we need to go spend another eight-hour committee session to go over the same things."

Hearing May 15

Marshall disagreed. "I think it's worth any amount of time we can devote to it because it's the largest public works project that we've ever done," said the council chairwoman.

Marshall missed the transit technology votes last month. She said yesterday she was in Florida following the death of her mother.

The new transit technology bills, introduced by council members Donovan Dela Cruz and Ann Kobayashi, now go to the council's Committee on Transportation and Public Works.

Council member Nestor Garcia, who chairs that committee, said he'll hold a May 15 hearing on non-steel-rail technologies.

"We'll have a hearing on technology other than steel on steel," he said. However, "Unless I hear some new evidence that tells me we should choose something other than steel on steel (technology), I'm going to recommend these bills don't pass out of committee."

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Here's an update about Rail in Honolulu:

Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin

$350M rail route would link airport

The mayor says state funds could pay for the route; state officials say that is unlikely

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The city is proposing to add a 2.1-mile segment to the proposed rail transit system, pushing the overall price tag over $4 billion, according to Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

The spur would connect Ala Moana Center and Honolulu Airport and would be separate from the 20-mile route planned from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center that goes through Salt Lake and bypasses the airport.

The spur would cost about $350 million and complement the $3.7 billion main rail route, Hannemann said yesterday.

The city said the new segment could be paid for through the 10 percent the state withholds for collecting the 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge to fund mass transit, as well as the state Department of Transportation's airport fund. But state Transportation Director Brennon Morioka said use of the airport fund to fund rail transit is unlikely.

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More information...

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

The city plans to start construction of the elevated commuter rail late next year, with the first segment from East Kapolei to Leeward Community College opening in 2012. Later segments would extend the system to West Kapolei to Manoa and Waikiki.

Hannemann also said yesterday that a trolley-bus system could facilitate transportation between Waikiki and the train's Ala Moana Center terminus station until the Waikiki spur is built.

An aerial view of Honolulu International Airport shows the proposed rail station would be built near the new parking structure.

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The Ala Moana Center rail plan shows the transit station, a trolley stop and the proposed link to Waikiki and the University of Hawai'i-Manoa.

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You have to be very careful about rapid transit systems,they might end up costing a lot more,possibly double the ammount...

urbanguy,what do you think about the project,think it's worth it,think it'll work???

I think it can work since Oahu(specially Honolulu)is very walkable and the route is pretty good,it connects pretty much the entire Honolulu Metro Area imo...

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I agree. I'm sure that these estimates are lower than what it will cost in the end. I do like the idea that the city is finally serious about rail but I don't like the fact that it will basically be elevated. I'd rather it be at ground level. :(

BTW here's more detail and proposals for a couple of the major stops.

Source: Honolulu Advertiser

Hawaii rail transit will remake Waipahu

Mass-transit stations bring large-scale development plans

Honolulu's commuter train is expected to bring in more than just passengers when it pulls into Waipahu in 2012.

The planned $3.7 billion mass-transit system could also pump new life into the former plantation town and other communities along the 20-mile route from East Kapolei to Ala Moana.

The system's 19 stations, which will be capable of moving about 6,000 passengers an hour in each direction, could become hubs for housing, business and employment. That in turn could spur land values and real estate development.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann plans to start construction late next year, with the first segment beginning operation between East Kapolei to Leeward Community College in 2012. In Waipahu, which could be among the first communities to feel those impacts, expectations are high.

"It will make (Waipahu) into a big boom town," said Frederic Chun, who owns property adjacent to a planned train station near Mokuola Street. "It's going to increase the value considerably because that's a very important stop right there."

San Francisco-based architectural and urban design firm Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP seems to agree. The company predicts Waipahu could become a low-rise version of Downtown Honolulu during the next 20 years or so. Conceptual drawings recently released by the company show a massive redevelopment of Waipahu that includes buildings of 10 or more stories near a planned station at Leoku Street and Farrington Highway.

Those drawings and other plans prepared by the firm will help tailor rules governing housing density, parking and pedestrian amenities near Waipahu's transit stations, both of which would be along Farrington Highway.

The city's goal is to foster transit lifestyles and higher-density developments near train stations, which could curb urban sprawl.

------------Here's a look at a couple of the major stops------------

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^^Well,elevated is way cheaper than underground. Also elevated ain't so bad,specially in tropical islands like ours.

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