Rail Sticker-Shock Sets In - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rail Sticker-Shock Sets In

Christina Simpkins Christina Simpkins
Precious Bautista Precious Bautista
Lorraine Wong Lorraine Wong

by Darren Pai

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Just running errands like going to the pet store can be a headache these days.

"It took me about 30 minutes to get here from Diamond Head, and that's a good day," said Christina Simpkins from Diamond Head.

It could soon be easier to visit shops at Ala Moana Center. The city may build a rail system running from Kapolei to the mall. Some say it would reduce traffic.

"People won't be driving as much, so less traffic I guess," said Precious Bautista, a commuter from Waipahu.

While some believe a rail system would reduce traffic, with a price tag of $3.6 billion they're worried it would hurt both businesses and individual taxpayers.

"For a railroad, honestly i think that's too much money," Bautista said. "It'll help traffic, but that's a lot of money."

Partial funding for the project would come from a one-half percent surcharge on the general excise tax. That increase would affect just about every retail transaction on oahu.

"I don't want my taxes to go up and certainly as a retailer our excise taxes will be supporting this," said Lorraine Wong, owner of Tapestries at Ala Moana.

Shop owners expect more customers would browse in their stores if a rail station were built at the shopping center, but they're still concerned about the cost.

"As a business person i wish there were other ways to pay for this system," Wong said. "I think it's a little expensive."

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