Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vote for Honolulu Mayor Based on Mode

There are going to be three choices for Mayor in Honolulu, but be careful who you vote for, you could get a transit mode you don't like. The existing mayor has been pushing rail while Council Member Kobayashi is keen on BRT that would operate in its own aerial structure. But wait, if you don't like that choice, you can vote for Dr. Panos Prevedouros who is a traffic engineering professor who thinks HOT lanes are the answer.

While I wonder about building an elevated rail line instead of a subway under major arterials, why do people still think that building a huge structure to carry limited capacity vehicles is still a good idea these days. I don't get it!? What am I missing? Why do people think that more operators is a good idea when labor costs are the largest part of the operating budget and you have a ridiculously dense city with a need for a high capacity transit spine? And for good measure make it diesel or some other fuel that puts carbon in the air next to your outdoor cafe. I'm getting cynical.


Justin said...

The BRT lobby is quite strong, especially with the FTA pushing BRT like crazy.

I do not get it either, but few things your country's government does, makes sense.

PRT Strategies said...

The real solution could be Personal Rapid Transit...and anyone's welcome to visit for a look.

Orange County is dealing with a narrow right-of-way as well, so one might take a look at our tab for the Pacific Electric Right-of-Way and the LA/OC Intercounty Study.

Morgan Wick said...

If the word was spread enough no other idea would have a chance. People here - especially but not exclusively people in Honolulu - should be educating as many people as possible about the truth about transit.

M1EK said...

Subway is a loser in Honolulu - most of the rail route isn't far enough above sea level to make this feasible, and I would presume earthquake engineering is easier above ground rather than below.

They already have a lot of elevated roadways out towards the airport.

Street-level rail would have been a fine idea in places too - but they're fighting a curiously strong strain of road-warriorism there; and unlike cities like Austin, actually have the density to support the extra cost of elevation.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I would think its safer underground for earthquake considerations, but you're probably right about the water table.

Loren said...

Someone at has slammed PRT as having the downsides of both cars and urban-rail systems:

Personal Rapid Transit - Cyberspace Dream Keeps Colliding With Reality

That aside, it'll be nice if Honolulu can get started on a rail-transit system. And if the elevated-busway supporter wins, he might end up discovering that his preferred solution is not much cheaper than a similarly elevated rail line.