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Cayetano outlines his rail alternatives, at one-fifth the price

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:28 p.m. HST, Sep 27, 2012

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano unveiled a transportation plan today that features new Bus Rapid Transit routes, high-tech traffic signal systems to instantly respond to traffic snarls and plans for two-lane underpasses to ease the flow of traffic on Kapiolani Boulevard and other thoroughfares.

The Cayetano plan would also feature a two-lane extension of the double-decked segment of Nimitz Highway, and would route express buses along a newly created dedicated bus shoulder lane on the Moanalua Freeway.

Cayetano estimates his plan, dubbed the Flexible Affordable Smart Transportation or FAST, would cost $1.1 billion, or about one-fifth the cost of the Honolulu rail transit project.

Cayetano said his plan has two main selling points. "The cost is much less," he said. "And then (there) is the flexibility of the system and its ability to adapt to developing technology and other kinds of occurrences."

Cayetano is running for mayor, and promises to halt the city’s $5.26 billion rail transit project if elected.

He has told audiences during the campaign that he favors a Bus Rapid Transit alternative to rail, but his FAST proposal includes specific new traffic fixes that appear designed to appeal to Windward and Central Oahu communities that would not be directly served by the planned 20-mile rail line.

The Cayetano camp estimates his package of traffic solutions will reduce the average peak travel time from Kapolei to Honolulu from 29 minutes to 25 minutes.

One proposal is for a College Express Bus Rapid Transit route connecting the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu Community College and stops in between.

“It shows the flexibility of the system. If this thing doesn’t work, then we try something else,” Cayetano said.

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false wrote:
how does this get paid for? Repurpose taxes collected for rail? Feds? Is there a current funding source I'm unaware of?
on September 27,2012 | 07:11PM
what wrote:
Local government has a long history of raiding funds and diverting taxpayer money for purposes not originally intended.
on September 27,2012 | 07:32PM
OldDiver wrote:
This is basically the same plan he vetoed while he was governor because of the increased traffic congestion it would cause for town residents. This is an insult to the voters and reconfirms this is a phony plan which will never be considered by the public.
on September 27,2012 | 07:45PM
rsgea wrote:
Ben Cayetano's BRT Plan looks pretty good. Check it out for yourself:


And indications are that FTA funding is available for BRT systems. That is why more and more cities on the mainland are switching to it, and Ray LaHood himself is now encouraging it.
on September 28,2012 | 12:48AM
rsgea wrote:
Don't take my word for it. Check out this report re BRT IS SWEEPING THE COUNTRY:


on September 28,2012 | 12:52AM
rsgea wrote:
on September 28,2012 | 01:06AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
FTA will not pay for this. The State will NOt give GET away to a senile fool. The State will not work with the city or cayetaNO. Another shibaidakine from NO. Stall tactic learned from lawyers. Look at the NO plan. It's hilarious! Go check out the PDF. Lol. Look at the picture. 3 old SLOW men with a false reading of FAST above them. Ben cannot even wear a lei straight.
on September 27,2012 | 07:45PM
Kapcity wrote:
Now...that is funny..
on September 27,2012 | 07:47PM
pakeheat wrote:
Watch out NanakuliBoss and Kapcity, you will reap what you sow
on September 27,2012 | 08:59PM
Anonymous wrote:
If the sowing is rail, them I'm all for it! Tired of these fantasy BRT/self-driving car wet dreams.
on September 27,2012 | 11:06PM
Wazdat wrote:
Mr. Negative Boss.
on September 27,2012 | 09:33PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
on September 27,2012 | 09:40PM
1assa wrote:
on September 28,2012 | 12:36AM
rsgea wrote:

Pro-rail bloggers doth protest too much. Looks like they're RUNNING SCARED

on September 28,2012 | 12:59AM
autumnrose wrote:
How does daRAil get paid for? how will our sewer repairs get paid for? how will the sewers and infrastructure for Live-Work-Play Aiea TOD get paid for? The public pays for private profit, one way or another. At least with Cayetano's FASTransit we pay only one-fifth the price.
on September 27,2012 | 09:12PM
IMVHO wrote:
That's what I keep saying. We approved the collection of additional GET for the purpose of building a rail system. Not for anything else. It is not a big pot of money that should just get passed to the next elected official to use on whatever project they see fit. If rail doesn't happen we should all be due a big REFUND.
on September 28,2012 | 09:27AM
BTO wrote:
The idea is to diversify our transportation system. I have ridden buses, shuttles and rail systems on the mainland and I can tell you it is a wonderful option to sitting in an automobile crawling for two hours. 5,000 users means 3,500 less cars on the road. Drive and increase the system to 10,000 users, well you get the picture. Also the riders on buses will exponentially go up. A bus system without the rail system will not grow. You need rail to increase the bus systems. It is like a tree branches that need the trunk to feed and grow. Once you get used to riding public transportation it will save you time and money. A cleaner and greener Hawaii includes the rail, bus, and hybrid autos and maybe wider dedicated bike lanes.
on September 28,2012 | 02:43PM
whs1966 wrote:
Ben can say anything he wants...and if he repeats it often enough some people will believe him. Re the funding: Oahu voters OK'ed the GET surcharge for rail only. Trying to use this $$ for other projects will not be easy.
on September 27,2012 | 07:21PM
Paloha99 wrote:
Good point...mcc below says Ben is going to get creative to circumvent the law and get those funds.
on September 27,2012 | 08:19PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Ben going circumvent the system or escheat it? Same ting.
on September 27,2012 | 09:41PM
mcc wrote:
The City and the State both can get very creative in ways to cicumvent an exisitng law to get funds. I'm voting for Ben, I think his program is great, and the routes are not working they will be very easy to change. The rail is something that when it fails, we cannot afford to support. Vote for Ben!
on September 27,2012 | 07:28PM
Paloha99 wrote:
Hmmm, vote for Ben so they can get creative and circumvent laws to get funds. How in the world can routes, i.e roadways, be easy to change? Oh, perhaps we can change the direction of traffic and have all the routes go one way going to work and one way goin home. That'll work...anyone thinking of going in the opposite direction will have to wait till traffic clears. Vote for Ben...he and his backers are laughable.
on September 27,2012 | 08:15PM
Wazdat wrote:
Rail is a JOKE
on September 27,2012 | 09:33PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Read the 32 page Powerpoint at VoteBen. Fifteen pages has a map of H1 and color felt pen plans. Pictures of other cities models. Very little guts. No explanation of how a City mayor can make changes of a State Highway. No word of who will fund it. Has Panos sitting right next to cayetaNO, gloating his plan. Does Panos still work for the dysfunctional UH? Is Panos working cayetaNOs plan on the taxpayers dime? Can someone check. .? Too many questions...
on September 27,2012 | 07:38PM
Wazdat wrote:
Oh brah you are VERY NEGATIVE and should have an OPEN MIND to other OPTIONS. Why is it rail or NOTHING ?????????
on September 27,2012 | 07:44PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
That's right wazdat, it's rail or Bens NOthing. So I rather have rail, then NOthing.
on September 27,2012 | 07:52PM
mischal wrote:
I`d rather have nothing than more debt.
on September 28,2012 | 12:14AM
OldDiver wrote:
Correct, virtually no details. The lack of details reeks of a phony project.
on September 27,2012 | 07:49PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Oh and Bens PowerPoint plan has real big words. Like maybe 10 words per page. You know like the high school trick, write big so get a 5 page report with 1/2 page worth of text.
on September 27,2012 | 09:11PM
Wazdat wrote:
Nice to see Ben using some COMMON SENSE that will actually HELP traffic and not BANKRUPT this city. Go BEN GO
on September 27,2012 | 07:43PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Wat 3 under passes under Kapiolani not going turn up iwi's???braddah Ben ,shibaidakine like dat.
on September 27,2012 | 07:48PM
Anonymous wrote:
on September 27,2012 | 09:57PM
73bdawg wrote:
"...If this thing doesn’t work, then we try something else,” Cayetano said." Yup, Rail!
on September 27,2012 | 07:49PM
Tanabe wrote:
I'd like to know what magic route Cayatano's folks are taking during peak traffic that can get them from Kapolei to Honolulu in under 30 minutes. I live in Pearl City and it takes me longer than that! Oh and where does he intends to install a bus lane on Moanalua? There isn't exactly an abundance of space there unless you remove a car lane. The double deck Nimitz and smart traffic signals at least are good ideas, but unless it goes all the way to and a little beyond, it won't do a shread of good. Typical Cayatano. Suggesting an idea at 1/5th the price along with 1/5th the sense.
on September 27,2012 | 07:58PM
Paloha99 wrote:
What? "if this thing doesn't work we try something else". Is he serious? Spend 1.1 billion to only reduce transit peak time by 4minutes! Is this his "solution" to the current and future traffic problem on Oahu? This guy should've stayed retired...he's senile. If he gets elected and mucks the rail project it'll be the biggest mistake in Hawaii's history. With rail Hawaii helps reduce its depency on oil and less demand for gas, get cars off the road, gives Oahuans an alternative to driving, and becomes a truly metropolitan city. With Cayetanos plan Hawaii gets a politically movitated, ill -conceived and short sighted solution, that in the end, as admitted by him, may not work and Hawaii will try something else.
on September 27,2012 | 08:08PM
DPK wrote:
paloha99: Spend $5-7 billion for a train that makes 19 stops in 21 miles. How fast is that? Rail runs on electricity, which is presently generated with oil. Rail won't help reduce traffic at all. No one wants to hop a bus, hop a train, then hop a bus, then walk to their destination. What is the value of becoming a truly metropolitan city? Vanity?
on September 27,2012 | 08:45PM
pakeheat wrote:
I guess this is a very large state so 4 minutes of savings ain't much? How about spending 5 billion dollars and won't do much either? So who is senile? It's you, Paloha99
on September 27,2012 | 09:01PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
When will Ben endorse berg?
on September 27,2012 | 09:45PM
Wazdat wrote:
ALL you pro-railers are SICK. ALL negative and closed minded. WAKE UP we CAN'T afford rail. lolos
on September 27,2012 | 08:15PM
itsok wrote:
The article states: "The Cayetano camp estimates his package of traffic solutions will reduce the average peak travel time from Kapolei to Honolulu from 29 minutes to 25 minutes." WHAT? DOESN'T IT TAKE OVER 60 MIN FROM KAPOLEI TO HONOLULU IN PEAK TRAVEL? NEVERTHELESS, HIS PLAN WILL REDUCE TRAVEL FROM KAPOLEI BY 4 FREAKING MINUTES? IF SO, ARE YOU KIDDING?
on September 27,2012 | 08:49PM
aieanani wrote:
It means the drive will be shortened 25-29 minutes. Yeah, it's not explained correctly.
on September 27,2012 | 10:19PM
Anonymous wrote:
No, he said 4 minutes on the news. What a dumb plan: $1billion, while displacing established business and apartment building for underpasses, and only for 4 saved minutes?! I think he's going to most certainly lose in November.
on September 27,2012 | 11:12PM
bleedgreen wrote:
Ben doesn't get it - traffic congestion is a result of an inadequate road system. And as Honolulu adds more and more cars to outdated and inadequate system, the congestion only gets worse. This is where are today. Trying alternatives with the Bus is equal to putting a square peg into a round hole.
on September 27,2012 | 08:53PM
Anonymous wrote:
More like half FAST.
on September 27,2012 | 09:17PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Good one,anon. Like.
on September 27,2012 | 09:44PM
Blueskies wrote:
I have two comments on this proposal and a question. 1. The law that was passed said the money could only be used for raIl, not for anything else, so that means paying for this new 1 billion dollar plan would have to come from other sources ( new taxes or cutting other programs currently supported by taxes to pay for this). 2. The primary focus of rail was to help the people on the West Side. I don't see how improving traffic flow on Kapiolani Blvd. is going to help cut the horrendous commutes of those living on the West Side. 3. Can Cayetano guarantee that his plan will give the West Side a commute time of no more than 30 to 45 minutes?
on September 27,2012 | 09:44PM
zhawaii wrote:
At what time of day does it only take 29 minutes to get from Kapolei to Honolulu?!?!?!?! Perhaps 2:00 AM?!
on September 27,2012 | 09:47PM
OldDiver wrote:
You must has missed the time from Pearl City to downtown. Five minutes down to two minutes.
on September 27,2012 | 09:58PM
keola2011 wrote:
The plan is flawed. It's a temporary fix and only adds more emission. Why are we trying to add more cars on the road cayetano???
on September 27,2012 | 09:50PM
Wazdat wrote:
because that is the way hawaii prople get around in cars, trucks, etc. Not a train to a mall.
on September 27,2012 | 10:50PM
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