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Carlisle, Caldwell debate support of rail transit

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.

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