comscore What's the best option for Honolulu's troubled rail project? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Big Q

What’s the best option for Honolulu’s troubled rail project?

  • B. Full build to Ala Moana, probably $9.6B billion (706 Votes)
  • C. Tear it down (533 Votes)
  • A. Cap at $6.8 billion, likely to Middle Street (211 Votes)

This is not a scientific poll — results reflect only the opinions of those voting.

Comments (63)

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        • Notice all the Union members have voted and they want JOB PROTECTION. The handwriting is on the wall and if they continue to build this MONSTER the prictag will jump to over 10 BILLION DOLLARS AND WILL END UP AT AROUND THE 20 BILLION MARK. Shame on our Mayor and the City Council as this project was never meant to be and the people again have or are being shafted.

        • It will be more than 20 million dollars because we can’t stop at UH. The original plans were to go to UH and have some kind of rail system or people mover in Waikiki.

        • Excuse me, it is BILLION not million. Billions , billions, I can’t believe it. Oahu doesn’t have that much money.

      • RUSTY THE HATED SCREECHING RAIL REARS ITS UGLY HED AGAIN & AGAIN. Built on a foundation of lies, deception & backroom cash laden union deals with personal money on the minds of our Legislators, City Council & Mayors. This train or choo choo whatever you want to call it is a BOONDOGGLE OF EPIC PURPORTIONS. Look at the MONEY below and weep for our government is corrupt on Oahu. If you really study this and then look at MAYOR CALDWELL who is over the 2 MILLION DOLLAR MARK. — We found that the nefarious Pacific Resource Partnership supported Carol Fukunaga with $86,000 in advertising for her 2012 election. AND under a different name, they gave Brandon Elefante $105,000 in advertising support. With this money, the percentage of Elefante’s support from the Ho’opili and Rail construction community jumped to 91%. Pretty amazing! He sure wasn’t going to vote against them! It is interesting, though, and it really is an education on these issues.
        Here’s The Friends of Makakilo breakdown on City Council campaign contributions:
        Council Member Total Contributions Amount from Hoopili/Rail Interests Percent
        Kymberly Pine $160,879 $116,801 72%
        Ernie Martin $451,240 $268,017 59%
        Ikaika Anderson $139,518 $100,668 72%
        Trevor Ozawa $183,320 $104,550 57%
        Ann Kobayashi $57,136 $24,450 43%
        Carol Fukunaga $258,321 $104,565 40%
        Joey Manahan $182,215 $83,512 46%
        Brandon Elefante $37,322 $24,292 65%
        Ron Menor $48,405 $34,650 72%

        I HOPE READING THIS WAKES YOU UP AND makes you mad as heck as we the tax payers are being had

  • The problem with option B (full build to Ala Moana) is that they have no idea what it is going to cost. It says “probably $9.6B” but haven’t they said the same kind of thing many times before?

    • Details, details… I suggest you look at the half full scenario… It’ll cost 15-18 BILLION plus many extra YEARS but so many low skilled Hawaii construction workers will have gotten some good OJT by the time Rail Fail is done.

      Win win, right??

  • Actually it needs to be built all the way to the the UH and through Waikiki. People would be wiser to write their representatives and just say NO to a new prison. Now that is pure waste.

    • Really? Then prepare to have your property taxes double to cover the full construction cost over $10 billion and the crushing monthly O&M costs estimated between $25-50 million per month and climbing.

      Once the greedy unions get involved this money pit will have a life of its own. Added to the Nei’s pension, education and infrastructure money pits tax payers will become working drones to subsidize them.


      • Much rather pay taxes to increase mobility on this island than to just lock people up. You ignore the benefits of having an effective mass transit system available. You probably have never been to Washington DC, Chicago or NYC? Sadly we will probably end up paying to lock people up and end up with a ineffective transit system. Sad

        • irt Boots, The Honolulu RUSTING RAIL PROJECT has never been to help alleviate traffic and it sure as heck will not be effective at anything other than wasting our hard earned tax money. The entire project from day 1 has been a Union Welfare project that was pushed on the people of Honolulu by those accepting the little brown envelopes of (luv) GREEN CASH. Nobody wants it and very few other than those forced to ride it due to BUS ROUTE CUTS will ever ride it. WAKE UP BOOTS AND ALL OF HAWAII AND STOP THIS SUCKER IN ITS TRACKS AND TURN THE EXITING GUIDE WAY INTO A REVERSABLE HIGHWAY FOR ALL LEEWARD RESIDENTS TO USE.

        • Boots you are full of it. NYC and the other cities have MILLIONS and MILLIONs of residents and they have more than one single line. We are an island in the middle of the ocean. WAKE UP this Rail is a JOKE !!

        • Boots – You willfully fail to understand the folly of adding another endless money pit to taxpayers backs. Sold on a pack of lies from day one, rail is the ultimate construction debacle in the Nei.

          Are you familiar with BART? Taxpayers and riders there are funding a crushing tax to maintain this union money pit. In 2013, “Workers from the two unions, which represent more than 2,300 mechanics, custodians, station agents, train operators and clerical staff, now average about $71,000 in base salary and $11,000 in overtime annually, the transit agency said. BART workers currently pay $92 a month for health care and contribute nothing toward their pensions.”


          This will be the Nei a few years after rail finally starts operation. BOHICA.

        • ohh really? just share with us where exactly will people be commuting from/to? Last I recall, the plans are to have the rail start from no where and end at no where. Come on boots, NOT even the residents on the West side will ride the rail. It’s all lies as the train provides ZERO productive mobility to anyone except the bums that will be sleeping on it.

    • So your desire is to have muggers, robbers, and drug dealers doing their business at the rail stations, huh? Maybe if you stopped doing illegal drugs, you won’t have to be afraid of going to prison.

  • Best option? Throw the illegal immigrants out , it will reduce traffic . Then secede from the mainland and stop in-migration and immigration. Then enact a 2 children only policy to slowly reduce overpopulation. Then we need no rail.

  • Stop rail at Middle Street and save billions now in construction, hundreds of millions in the coming years for reduced monthly O&M costs.

    Only use contractors to operate and maintain rail to avoid adding to the pension money pit. Save taxpayers big time over our greedy unions.

      • Not good enough, they need a spur to the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. They need the lava to power the choo-choo as there is no planed power plant to actually power the rail.

        Interesting philosophical differences to ponder at…
        * Elon Musk dreams of building the hyperloop to transport many at fast speeds.
        * Krook Caldwell dreams of building a steam powered choo-choo like in the old slavery/plantation days.

    • Key word there is “estimated”. The city first “estimated” it would cost only $3.6 billion dollars to build, and every other “estimate” the city or HART has given has been wrong within months of releasing said “estimate”. Since the city is planning on using long term bonds to finance most of this project, the interest incurred must be given in its final price tag, so you saying it’ll only cost an estimated $8.2 billion is a false statement.

  • No way this train should have Ala Moana Shopping Center as its end stop. The route skirts several public colleges, but ignores UH where most of the college students are. Instead it goes to a private, for-profit establishment, Ala Moana. Did General Growth have anything to do with this.

    • D’uh…. General Growth, Howard Hughes, Horton, etc etc etc the usual suspects. ALL with the wink and complicity of our useless, ethically absent mayor.

  • Hawaii residents already pay more taxes than any other state. It’s high time our state leadership wake up to the very visible fact that Hawaii’s rail is simply unaffordable for our small to build, operate and maintain!

    • I agree the Majority do NOT WANT RAIL but the problem is that 95-100% of Union members voted and the majority of Honolulu’s working population did not so the real problem is why doesn’t everyone VOTE. The City Council is bought and paid for by the construction companies & developers and the Mayor as well so who is going to help us the people—We need a SUPER ATTORNEY TO USE THE COURTS TO STOP THE BOONDOGGLE

  • The truth. Rail was sold as a make work project for the construction industry with the Unions its major beneficiary. Mass transit is badly needed. It could have been done cheaper and more efficiently but the powers who be, forced this down our throats. You want to know who is to blame? Look in the mirror. Its the Unions looking for short term gains. Start from the top and look at all those who have benefited the most. Construction insiders with ridiculous contracts. Unfortunately, Hawaii is incidious in there business operations. It starts with the Unions. They work for them not anyone else, including their members.

  • Unless you voted for Djou, shut your trap and enjoy what you bought. He was the last and only chance of any semblance of accountability overseeing this epic disaster. Now? You’ve got a sociopathic crybaby KROOK who is and always has been bought, sold and paid for by unions, special interests, power brokers and syndicate groups, and he’ll be rubber stamping just about anything that lands on his desk if it benefits the few and screws the many.

    I love how locals yammer on and on about being Democrats because Democrats represent the “working man,” when local Democrats are nothing but the equivalent of greedy and crooked 19th-century Republicans on steroids.

    You all deserve the bankrupt economy that’s coming, and coming soon.

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