Viewpoint (Astrid Monson)|
Honolulu League Endorses LWVUS's Focus on Initiative
But for the Grace of God (Astrid Monson)
Council Member Felix Speaks on East Honolulu Settlement
Con Con Panel Discussion
Court Monitors Needed
But for the Grace of God
Unbelievable as it may seem in today's fiscal climate, there are still those who call for building a rapid transit rail guideway on Oahu. It should be remembered that the proposal the City Council rejected in
1992 would have committed the State to contribute $50 million a year for ten years to help finance its construction; would have depended upon the Federal government to pay $680 million share of the capital cost; and would have required Oahu taxpayers, through a percent increase in the State excise tax, to pay $1,500 million for its construction costs, plus another $85 million a year in annual rail operating subsidies. One can only speculate what would have happened if construction had started in 1993 and these funds were not forthcoming.
The current draft of the 2020 Oahu Regional Transportation Plan, as recommended by the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO), includes $2,037,000,000 for rail transit to be built at an unspecified time before 2020.
Just two weeks ago, however, the Advertiser announced that under pending Congressional legislation federal transit operation subsidies would be cut by 40% beginning October 1. City tax subsidies or further raises in fares would be needed to make up for this.
Apart from all this, however, is the question of the unforeseen difficulties the City could have experienced if we had gone ahead with the proposal. A recent article in the respected British journal The Economist, tells us of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority experience in constructing its new subway system. Some of the difficulties cited in the article are illumination, to say the least.
Perhaps it is fair to say that "there, but for the grace of the committee on Sensible Transit, the League of Women Voters of Honolulu, and the others who for many years worked in opposition to the City's transit proposal, goes Honolulu.
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