Central Oahu wants in on rail
Officials expect that residents will want to know how the area figures in the plans
Some Central Oahu residents want a direct link to the proposed rail transit line.
"The number of existing homes as well as ones that are planned for new development is going to put a lot of new homes in the Central Oahu corridor, and if they want the rail solution to work, obviously you want some kind of connection," said Dean Hazama, vice chairman of the Mililani Mauka/Launani Valley Neighborhood Board.
Residents will have a chance to ask Mayor Mufi Hannemann and his administration how the rail line will affect them when the city holds the latest public outreach meeting at Mililani High School cafeteria at 7 p.m. tonight. The city is undertaking a study that is looking at four mass transit alternatives, including a 23-mile rail transit line between Kapolei and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The City Council is slated to pick an option by the end of the year.
Hazama said his board prefers that the main rail transit line have a spur to Central Oahu, and he anticipates some residents will ask the city why that spur is not yet in the mix.
"I'm sure they're going to ask how this is going to work, how it's going to benefit the Central Oahu region," Hazama said. "If they're just going to build the rail down the primary corridor, we have serious questions on how it's going to service Central Oahu as far as relieving the traffic congestion without the spur there."
"It'll be more efficient for them to get on and off the rail system, and it will make the commute time faster," Hazama said.
Dick Poirier, chairman of the Mililani/Waipio/Melemanu Neighborhood Board, said that either a spur or a dedicated bus route would work for Central Oahu residents.
"We also passed a motion to ask them that whatever happens from Kapolei to wherever ... that there's a way we can get access to the line," he said.
Toru Hamayasu, the city's chief transportation planner, said tonight's meeting in Mililani and two more meetings in East Honolulu and Kalihi are a continuation of meetings held in June in Kapolei, downtown Honolulu and Aliamanu that will present the latest cost and ridership numbers and other information.
But officials anticipate that these added communities will have specific questions pertaining to their areas.
Hamayasu said plans for the Central Oahu area call for a premier bus service to a proposed transit station in Pearl City. He said some residents might also want to know why Kapolei was chosen, and the city is prepared to answer those questions.
Hamayasu said that when the meetings travel to East Honolulu, officials anticipate that residents will want to know whether the transit line will go to Hawaii Kai.
UPCOMING TRANSIT MEETINGS
The city continues its series of meetings to update communities on the latest cost, ridership and other information on the study of mass transit alternatives:
» Central Oahu: Today, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Mililani High School cafeteria
» East Honolulu: Monday, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Kalani High School cafeteria
» Kalihi: Aug. 28, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Farrington High School cafeteria