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New rail cars lack seating

The winning bid to construct, operate and maintain 80 rail transit cars came in at $574 million. Of this amount, $167 million is for operations and maintenance, meaning that the cost of construction is $407 million. That is more than $5 million for each rail car.

Can someone please explain why a rail transit car costs more than 10 times as much as a bus, which has more seats?

And what genius decided that there should be only 72 seats in two cars, but room for more than 300 standees?

The transit system is meant for long-haul trips all the way from Kapolei to downtown and back. People won’t be willing to ride the train if there’s a high probability that when they get on, they’ll have to stand the entire time.

And what about Oahu’s relatively high percentage of elderly people? Most of them will certainly expect to be able to ride in seated comfort.

Edward K. Conklin

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813


Riders won’t use rail’s cattle cars

I was appalled to see the Ansaldo rail-car design for Honolulu. Two cars that can carry 318 people with only 76 seats?

Is the city misleading us on the number of expected riders? If not, the cattle-car passenger experience will be so miserable that people will be willing to try it only once.

Kay Kibby


Local charities need help, too

This is not to demean the donations given to other places after disasters, but it seems local charity is always an afterthought.

If just a quarter of what people send to other places is given here to the Foodbank and other worthy causes, yearly pleas for

donations might not be so urgent. Giving should begin at home.

Robin R. Ching


Flag bill should have been heard

I would like to express my disappointment in our legislators for not even giving so much as a hearing on a proposed bill to allow homeowners within associations to freely fly the state and American flags.

There are veterans and others in the community who believe it is important for our representatives to protect our freedoms.

Michael C. Soucie


State should cash its checks sooner

I prepay my quarterly estimated taxes to the Hawaii Department of Taxation well in advance of the due dates in April, June, September, and January. So can somebody please tell me why it takes up to two months for my checks to clear? You’d think the state would be eager to get my money sooner than later, considering how broke it is. 

Theodore Pizzino


Prepare now for natural disasters

Following the disaster in Japan, I read letters to the editor and was incredulous that people criticize government for not telling them where to go and the Pacific Tsumani Warning Center for not getting information out in a timely manner.

During times of natural disaster, it is incumbent on us to take care of ourselves, family and property. We cannot rely on government to do it. We have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Get your disaster kit in order, know if you are in an inundation zone and plan to evacuate. And pay attention to Mother Nature. If you see the ocean receding, head inland or to higher ground. If you see the tsunami coming, go vertical, even it means climbing a tree. You can not outrun a tsunami.

Robert K. Soberano


We might hear symphony again

In January, I called for the moneyed and powerful to see to it that Honolulu had a working symphony orchestra. Unknown to me at that time, they actually were meeting, very quietly, to do just that.

A few days ago, these fine folks dug deep in their own pockets to save the physical assets of the bankrupt symphony, ranging from grand pianos to hand-written sheet music.

What I read about the Second Coming of the Honolulu Symphony moved me to tears. I wish to thank all the movers, shakers and donors who are working to put glorious music back in the Blaisdell Concert Hall.

My fears are allayed. We ain’t no hick town.

Beverly Kai

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