Get ready to ride the rail: How the new system will benefit residents

Building a clean, safe and reliable transportation option

Sponsored by HART, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

Get ready to ride the rail! The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation says the target date to have Honolulu’s rail system ready for passengers to ride is October 2020. Andrew Robbins, executive director and CEO of HART says the city will then determine exactly when passenger service will get underway.

“We’re not only building a clean, safe and reliable transportation option, but also a better future for our children and the generations to come,” Robbins says. “We’re building a rail system that will connect people to their jobs and to their schools. They can leave traffic congestion and the stress that goes with it behind.”

The rail will run from Kapolei through the extremely congested east-west transportation corridor to the airport and downtown and Chinatown before stopping at Ala Moana Center. It will serve Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam as well as University of Hawaii at West Oahu, Leeward Community College, Honolulu Community College and Hawaii Pacific University.

“The rail system will improve the quality of life for our friends and families,” says Robbins.

In the next several years, 70 percent of Oahu’s population and 80 percent of its jobs will be within the vicinity of the rail system. It will also pick up the additional commuters who will be moving into the new housing developments at Hoopili and Koa Ridge.

Robbins stresses that the rail will also serve as green transportation, as it will be powered by electricity.

“When the system is fully operational, we like to say we’ll be providing 120,000 trips in electric vehicles every day!” Robbins explains. “Electric powered rail technologies such as the one we are using produce about 75 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than private automobiles.”

That being said, the rail will play a key role in addressing the challenges posed by climate change. There will also be nearly 20,000 gallons of gasoline saved every day in Honolulu.

“As our state continues to move to using more renewable resources in the generation of electricity, our dependence on fossil fuels will decline. And when you combine the electric rail system with battery-powered buses, you can see just how much ‘greener,’ sustainable and eco-friendly our city’s public transportation system will become,” Robbins explains.

For more information: honolulutransit.org, or on Facebook: @HonoluluRailTransit