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New Kam School Train Study Merits Real Consideration

Apparently, the Kamehameha Schools believes there is a better alternative to the overhead train package supported by the Hannemann Administration and many developers and contractors. This alternative would cost a lot less, be less disruptive for local businesses during the construction phase, be more convenient for commuters by essentially replicating ingress and egress of The Bus, and could be more easily expanded and extended. This Honolulu Advertiser article really sums it up nicely. There was no comment from the Mayor but considering the current state revenue picture and the reduced amount flowing into coffers for the train project, not to mention the likelihood of serious federal cutbacks in the near future to deal with the yawning post-Crash deficit, it might be prudent to consider an option that costs almost 40% less and could be launched even more quickly. Also, the phases of this alternative train roll out makes a lot more sense. The Mayor's plan has the first segment of the train going from Kapolei to Waipahu / Salt Lake. Kam School's plan would instead have the first phase running in the downtown area, a far higher use area in terms of foot traffic and a much more congested traffic zone. What do you think?

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Comment by Bruce M. Bird on September 15, 2009 at 10:33am
Maybe $30 million or so of the anticipated $1.7 Billion in savings could be directed towards putting some more sand on Waikiki Beach.
Comment by Cameron Souza on September 14, 2009 at 1:35pm
Go Kamehameha Schools! This plan is much better.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on September 14, 2009 at 8:00am
Exactly. For starters, the state could get serious about Kapolei. We have a ton of government workers slogging into town from the Ewa plain for no good reason.
Comment by Alex Salkever on September 13, 2009 at 5:53pm
Yes, I never understood why telecommuting credits were not pursued more aggressively or even satellite office space for workers who are not public facing and may be able to schedule around meetings. I worked remotely for a New York company for four years and it was quite successful.
Comment by Daniel Leuck on September 13, 2009 at 1:25pm
Its much better than the current plan. I don't understand why we would even consider a system that isn't modern light rail. We would get 1.7 billion in savings, no visual monstrosities, less noise pollution, and the ability to power the system without fossil fuels once we get our act together with a smart grid. The only debate should be around elevated, partially elevated or ground and details of the route.

There are also some simple and inexpensive short term solutions to our traffic congestion problems. For example, we could give government information workers the option of working from home, and provide tax incentives for large companies that do the same. This would work particularly well if it was structured as an incentive for top performers.

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