By: Rick Blangiardi
Now that the rail system is starting to take shape, it's important to figure out what it is and what it could be.The Honolulu authority for rapid transportation, or hart, showed us the plans for an impressive station at the Honolulu international airport. The guideway comes in behind the existing lei stands and the station will be built between the international and overseas parking lot. It's great to think 15,000 people a day will use the station but it's also disconcerting to know that right now, there is no rail link between the place where many tourists visit, Waikiki, and the airport. For now, the plan is to have a bus route to Ala Moana center, where another station is being built. It's hard to imagine that many people will be happy carrying luggage on a bus and then transferring to the rail station.
Even with dedicated bus lines between the Ala Moana station and back to Waikiki, it's really not ideal and common sense dictates that a spur be built in the heart of Waikiki. But where?Construction starts on the airport line and station next year and is to be completed two years later. So the planning needs to come quickly if the airport station is to reach its maximum potential.