Study touts rail jobs will top 100,000

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Bearing a banner outside the state unemployment office, a group called FACE insisted rail's the fast track to a paycheck.

"We think that a lot of the people coming in here are people out of work that would be put back to work by this project," Drew Astolfi said.

Astolfi's group released a 30-page study Thursday.

In it researchers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis said rail-created jobs will surpass a hundred thousand..

"We're looking at approximately 125,000 jobs over the course of the life of the project," FACE president Sam Domingo said.

FACE said the figure includes construction and other employment related to development along the transit line.

But rail critics call the study results "ridiculous" and characterize the number of jobs projected as "over-stated.".

"It's easy enough to create jobs if you go into debt to do it. It's a question of what kind of a hangover of debt are you going to wake up to when it's all over?" said Cliff Slater of

FACE stands for Faith Action for Community Equity, an alliance of churches and temples that support rail.

"We believe that it will concentrate investment, concentrate capitol in the urban core," Astolfi said.

FACE said the study is based on numbers the city used to secure a promise of federal funding.

The study is posted on the organization's web site at

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