Mayor Peter Carlisle said today that his support for the city’s rail project is “unequivocal,” drawing a brighter line than former managing director Kirk Caldwell, who has called for a review of the project’s station locations, architecture and visual impact.
At a forum put on by the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Carlisle said the $5.27 billion rail project and the transit-oriented development around rail stations would be an engine of urban renewal. While not mentioning by name former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who opposes the project, Carlisle said that if Honolulu backs out now, the city would lose relationships with federal transit leaders.
Cayetano did not attend the forum because of a scheduling conflict.
Caldwell, who also served as acting mayor in 2010, said a majority of Oahu residents favored rail when he led the city, and he blamed declining support for the project on Carlisle’s poor management.