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July 2006

President's Message
HOT Lanes Now Under Construction
State Council on May 13
Charter Commission (Evangeline Funk & Piilani Kaopuiki)
Case Against Rail Transit (Panos Prevedouros)
Astrid Monson, 1913-2006 (Arlene Ellis)
Transit Update (Charles Carole)
FBI Intimidation

HOT Lanes Now Under Consideration

Out of the eight or so transportation options being studied by the City, at least half of them involve a form of fixed rail. But another idea on the table is managed lanes, similar to what is going on in Tampa, FL. Parsons Brinkerhoff, which has a $10 million contract with the city to explore mass transit options, says its managed lane plan is for a two-lane elevated highway from Waipahu to downtown.

One option would make the lanes reversible to ease the morning and afternoon rush hours. These HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes would be reserved for high-occupancy vehicles. Other drivers would pay a toll to use them.

Martin Stone, Director of Planning, Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, Tampa, Florida spoke recently in Honolulu about reversible HOT lanes. A new three-lane elevated roadway will open there in about two months. Reversible express lanes divert 10,000 trips from local roads and reduce AM peak trip time from 20-40 minutes to 10 minutes Total project cost for Tampa HOT lanes was $300 million for 10 miles.

Tampa struggled with the idea of light rail for 15 years before deciding to move in a different direction. It found that fixed rail was not feasible because ridership was not large enough with its population of approximately one million. Oahus total population is about 900,000. The City says that 60% or 540,000 live within the proposed rail corridor.

Parsons is finalizing transit routes. It will soon concentrate on other areas, such as putting a price tag on each idea. The city council will decide in November on which mass transit option to go with.

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