UH Students Object to Mayor's Rail Plan

Published: Jan. 30, 2007 at 11:40 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2007 at 9:39 PM HST
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Grant Teichman
Grant Teichman
Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Mayor Mufi Hannemann

By Darren Pai

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With more than 20,000 people on campus, students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa said their schools needs to be connected to the city's proposed transit system.

"To us that's the most important part of the segment," said Grant Teichman, UH student president. "Everyone sees on days when the university's not in session the traffic's much lighter."

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann wants to begin the project with a 20 mile route running from East Kapolei to ala moana shopping center. hannemann says he wants to break ground in 2009 and have between seven to ten miles built by 2012.

"It is critical in my mind that we build and break ground in 2009, it is critical," Hannemann said. "It is critical that we show progress."

The proposed route does not include spurs to Waikiki or UH-Manoa. Students who supported the project said they now feel left out.

"Sounds like a black hole actually," Teichman said. "And so I can tell you right now students will be making calls to the mayor's office."

Hannemann said he's not leaving UH-Manoa out of his plans. He said he wants the city to conduct all the necessary environmental studies so it can build the UH extension when funds become available

"Let me clear, it is my hope and my desire to fully build out this system," Hannemann said.