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Second Monson Award Celebration At Elks Club November 20
Volunteer for Vote Count
Get Involved with Health Care Reform (Joy Marshall)
Talk on Healthcare to be Aired on 'Olelo
Save Our Farmland (Charles Carole)
City Council Left in Dark by Mayor (Pearl Johnson)
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City Council Left in Dark by Mayor

This year, Honolulu League joined the Oahu Coalition for Flexible & Affordable Transit. Although League has opposed rail transit for many years, we realized that we must fight for a good system if one is inevitable.

The Coalition advocates a mixed system of street level and elevated rail which would be significantly less costly than the projected cost of $5.3 billion for the 20-mile system.

On Sunday, September 13, the Advertiser revealed that a study commissioned by Kamehameha Schools (KS) confirmed that the Coalition’s proposal would cost about $1.7 billion less than the City’s plan. KS hired Phil Craig, a New Jersey railway system designer and transportation consultant since 1955, to study Honolulu’s proposed system.

Last month, KS spokesperson Ann Botticelli said KS had shared this information with the city last month. It is only thanks to the Advertiser that anyone outside the mayor’s office knows anything about the possible savings of $1.7 billion.

Furthermore, it took a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by two dedicated citizens to learn that the tax collections to pay for rail will fall short by $500 million. Although city transportation officials appeared before the city council twice after the city reported the shortfall to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), they did not mention the funding difficulty.

After the report was made public, the City claimed that the report was only a draft. However, it is clearly not a draft but a report submitted as part of an application to go into the next phase of the environmental process and nowhere does it say it is a draft. On the other hand, another report the FTA made public is an August 21, 2008 report which says quite clearly that it is a DRAFT report.

Pearl Johnson

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