More open space, a smaller structure and a Hawaiian sense of place.
That's the new look of the rail stations planned along the city's $5.3 billion mass transit line, which transit officials say will shave off $100 million in costs.
Officials with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit unveiled the first of its 21 stations -- the Westloch Rail Station in Waipahu -- which incorporates these new design features that were prompted. Dan Grabauskas, CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rail Transit, says the new look will also save big bucks.
"By redesigning the stations to have a more modular component on the exterior, while still maintaining a finished, beautiful exterior, we think we save $100 million in total design costs and construction costs," said Dan Grabauskas, HART's CEO.
Graubauskas said that feedback from the public prompted rail officials to scale back the size of the stations.
"We originally put to our design team a design that was much more larger and elaborate but frankly the community seemed to push back on it and so did our budget department," he said.
The future site of the Westloch Rail Station falls in a district that includes small businesses and low rises. But the city hopes that it will eventually give way to larger developments."
"Transit oriented development is the bigger part of rail," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
"It's not just building the rail system. It's what happens around a transit system. And if it's done right, I think it's going to enhance ridership."
Transit officials plan to hold a number of public meetings over then next several months to discuss station designs. The next meeting is scheduled for June 25th at Waipahu intermediate School.