Transit details take shape
Information on where stations and stops could be placed will be made public soon
The city is expected to make public as early as today its plan on where transit stations and stops might go along the various routes being considered for mass transit.
And some councilmembers said that these locations could decide the potential fate of whatever rail system is put into place.
"I think it's very determinate of the potential success of the mass transit system," Council Transportation Chairman Todd Apo said.
The possible locations of rail transit stops are being planned as part of the city's analysis of mass transit alternatives.
After the study is completed, the City Council will have to decide which alternative it prefers.
As a result, members of the Council have been briefed on the different options for transit stops along the four different proposed rail lines.
They were shown a map with pink boxes that represent more than 60 possible stops along the proposed different rail routes.
Transit stops include current bus transit centers like those in Kapolei and along Middle Street, as well as near shopping hubs such as Ala Moana and Pearlridge, and near landmarks such as Aloha Stadium and the Convention Center.
In Leeward Oahu, stops are located near current and future housing developments and the proposed University of Hawaii West Oahu campus.
"I think there's a rationale for the potential locations they're looking at," Apo said. "I think the important message is that these are the preliminary tentative ideas of where they might be. They're out there so people can comment on them and we need them."
Councilman Charles Djou, who raised concerns early on about the transit project, said the station locations help bring the city's plan into focus.
"I think it adds some more detail to what has thus far has been a very murky picture," Djou said. "It's as if you're in the eye doctor's office and they're gradually bringing something into focus ... a better focus of what the picture is."
Apo said the location of the transit stops are crucial to connecting current residents to the rail line and developing future ridership for rail, which could ensure its survival.
"I think there are areas where we have the potential to develop in order to help create the ridership, and I think the prime example of that is east Kapolei, where you've got vacant land where you can develop a necessary housing component for West Oahu that doesn't exist," he said.
For Councilman Nestor Garcia, the transit project has major consequences.
"I think it's going to force us to look at what we would like our future to be. It's not just about transportation -- getting from here to there -- it's about how we're going to live, work and play for years to come," Garcia said.