January-February 1999 Home   Newsletters

March 1999

April 1999

President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Nominating Committee Report for FY '99-2000 (Helen Griffin)
Bus Rapid Transit (Arlene Ellis)
Membership Orientation (Grace Furukawa)
Proposed Budget - FY 4/1/99 to 3/31/2000
Fight City Hall? (Robert M. Rees)

Bus Rapid Transit

In the early `90's, after., the demise of the rail transit project, an intensive study was made on alternatives to rail, involving diverse groups including transportation professionals, government representatives, and a broad spectrum of community groups and individuals. After months of discussion and study, the conclusions reached pointed significantly to bus rapid transit as the best solution toward addressing Oahu's transportation problems. The report that evolved from this study is buried somewhere and never emerged for public discourse.

Hardly 10 years have gone by and the city administration - rife with the old "rail die-hards" - are again touting "rail" in what they hope are more palatable guises. We have always contended that the cost of rail is too high for the minimal relief it will give, and that our population is too small to bear the enormous costs.

A 2/1/99 article from the San Francisco Chronicle presents a picture of what "could have been" on Oahu has we acted on our convictions. Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle staff writer reports that "Out on the Bay Area's fast-growing fringe, suburbanites are doing something nobody ever expected - they are riding the bus.

Defying conventional wisdom and transportation planners' prognostications, residents of such Bay Area bedroom communities as Antioch, Livermore, Windsor, Tracy and Gilroy are leaving sport utility vehicles and minivans behind and climbing aboard buses in record numbers.

While ridership on most large urban transit systems holds steady or shows slight increases, many suburban systems are .undergoing double-digit percentage growth."

The chart reproduced below speaks for itself. Those of you who are interested in the entire article can access the Chronicle Web Page at www.sfgate.com.

Arlene Ellis
Chair Transportation

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