New Mass Transit Possibilities Unveiled

Concept of a Pearlridge station
Concept of a Pearlridge station

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Computer renderings of a proposed mass transit project show rail lines running 60 feet above University Avenue. Some don't like the design, but say they'll live with it.

"It is an eyesore, but it's a necessity unless they can come up with a better idea, the traffic is horrendous," said Graham Smith, a commuter who lives in the University area.

The city Friday unveiled a series of computer renderings of a proposed rail system, saying it wants to know what the public thinks.

"Yes, it's not aesthetically pleasing in terms of that particular route, University of Hawaii, but this is our chance to get that kind of feedback," said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

Even if they don't mind the design, some commuters say the sticker price comes as something of a shock. New estimates say it will cost $3 billion to connect West Oahu and urban Honolulu.

That figure does not include the cost of transit vehicles, land acquisition or construction of support facilities. Hannemann expects the federal government and private partners will help the city pay for construction.

"I think this makes it easier now to get people to understand Honolulu is willing to put their money with their mouth is, if you will," Hannemann said.

With traffic growing more congested some commuters simply want action.

"Somethings got to get done," Smith said. "More and more people are getting here, the traffic's getting worse and worse."