Hawaii Delegation Eyes Rail - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Delegation Eyes Rail

Karen Dolan Karen Dolan
Sen. Daniel Inouye Sen. Daniel Inouye
Carol Kleppin Carol Kleppin

By: Darren Pai

(KHNL) - Most of the people walking around Downtown Honolulu got there by car. Some said that congestion is a sure sign Oahu needs a rail system.

"I think with all the people who are continuing to move here it's probably going to be a necessity," said Karen Dolan, a downtown resident.

Estimates for a rail system run as high as $4.6 billion. Congressman Neil Abercrombie said funding for rail in Honolulu will be a priority in Washington.

"We're going to have the whole rail transit system from Waikiki to Manoa to Kapolei," Abercrombie said.

Despite all the traffic and congestion, some say even if it does receive more federal support a rail system simply isn't worth it.

"They could take the buses now and they don't so i'm not sure what's going to encourage them to take a rapid transit system," said bus rider Carol Kleppin.

Sen. Dan Inouye expects to chair the Commerce and Transportation committee. But he warned against expecting too much.

"We'll do our best obviously," Inouye said. "But you have to keep in mind monies are limited unless we improve the budget system."

With democrats poised to control congress it appears Hawaii's delegation will wield more influence.

"i think for a delegation made of just four members, two senate and two house, the committee assignments as one of my colleagues told me, awesome," Inouye said.

The commerce committee that Inouye is expected to take control of covers several industries with direct impacts on Hawaii. It includes air travel, shipping, communications, science and interstate commerce.

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