Shorter rail would cut ridership
Up to half of all transit rides are estimated to go by rail by 2030
A shorter route means fewer people will ride rail transit, said Mark Scheibe, project manager for city transit consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas.
Transit Update Meetings
UH-Manoa, Campus Center Ballroom, noon to 1:30 p.m.; and August Ahrens Elementary School cafeteria, Waipahu, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Holomua Elementary School cafeteria, Ewa Beach, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Alvah Scott Elementary School cafeteria, Aiea, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Heeia Elementary School cafeteria, Kaneohe, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Nanaikapono Elementary School cafeteria, Nanakuli, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Parsons Brinckerhoff said that by 2030, one-third to one-half -- or 115,000 to 150,000 -- of the transit rides on Oahu will be aboard rail, assuming a rail system is built. The projection is based on a system running the 23 miles from Kapolei to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Last week, Mayor Mufi Hannemann proposed shortening the route to lower the cost of building the system to $3 billion from the estimated $4 billion for the longer route. A new route has not been determined, and Scheibe said without that, there is no way to estimate how many fewer people will ride rail.
"The goal is to shorten the route to cut cost while losing as few riders as possible," he said.
The ridership projection is part of the city's alternatives analysis, to show how many people will use transit, including buses, versus private vehicles.
Under the no-build, transportation system management and fixed-guideway alternatives, people will take 225,000 to 250,000 trips per day aboard transit in 2030.
With a rail system spanning Kapolei and UH-Manoa, people will make 300,000 trips per day aboard transit, according to the analysis.
Current bus ridership on Oahu is about 180,000 trips per day.
The ridership projections consider population and job growth and where they occur, current transit use, future road construction, the routes of the different alternatives, and other factors that would affect people's decisions to chose one alternative over the others.
The rail model Parsons Brinckerhoff used assumes the cost of riding rail will be the same as riding the bus. While fares have not been set, the city asked Parsons Brinckerhoff to make that assumption in its model because that is a goal of the administration, said city spokesman Bill Brennan.
The city has scheduled a series of community meetings to explain its alternatives analysis. The first one is Monday. By then, Scheibe said he hopes to have projections comparing what effect the different alternatives will have on traffic congestion.