Honolulu Committee Searches For Transit Solutions

Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Ken Wong
Ken Wong
Traffic on the freeway
Traffic on the freeway

By Stephen Florino

(KHNL) - No matter where you live on Oahu, you were probably stuck in traffic last Tuesday.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann says that gridlock reinforces his message that the island needs a rail transit system.

"That was a classic example when our traffic breaks down, and gets clogged the way it did, and we have no other alternative," said Hannemann.

The mayor and his Transit Solutions Advisory Committee is meeting to find a way to prevent that from happening again.

The committee serves as a test group.

Hannemann gets feedback on the latest data on a rail system, like ridership figures and possible routes.

"The meetings have been going very well because there's a whole cross section of people involved in these meetings and it's good to get the different viewpoints," said Ken Wong, East Honolulu resident and committee member.

Members are from the public and private sector. They feel last Tuesday served as a harsh reality check.

"We don't wanna face gridlock here," said Wong. "When you have the whole highway closed down, it just signals what the problem was."

Hannemann wants a rail system, running from Kapolei to the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.

"Rail has to be looked upon as an Oahu wide solution because everyone gets affected," said Hannemann.

The committee is looking at all alternatives, because members know something has to be done.

"A traffic solution is needed," said Wong. "We cannot just keep going on how we've been going on."

Or risk the possibility of more days like last Tuesday.

A transit team needs to recommend a mass transit option to the city council before November 1.

There will be a new set of public meetings on mass transit starting next Monday. The first is at the UH Campus Center at noon.

The second will be at August Ahren Elementary in Waipahu at 7 p-m.