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  • Re: Rail Transit

    From City Council member Tom Berg...
    "The rail tax is blind to the poor and their plight and the economically challenged in general. They pay the rail tax when they buy bread, buy medicine- and cannot escape the regressive tax no matter how much they save or what they must consume to live.

    All of us have paid dearly for attorneys to defend Ansaldo to charge us over $241 million more than necessary to build the rail cars in California; almost $2 million to defend an inadequate and flawed Environmental Impact Statement; and more monies to defend the right to plow over, under, and right through known iwi/burial sites before we know what is at stake; forked over $15 million to just one contractor - wasted on a contract awarded before it could be legally executed; threw away good for bad on over $30 million in change orders thus far tallied; and then after the public school teachers took a pay cut, furloughs took rise, and now there is no money to even fund school buses anymore, HART turns around and awards an outrageous salary for one person alone to run the train at $322k a year . . .

    In my analysis, the financial plan for rail has more than run afoul, run amok, but is reckless at best. Yet, that won't stop Council District One constituents like Alex Santiago who stated on television at my town hall meeting-

    "The concerns of the costs and the concerns that we cannot afford this really needs to be answered with 'we cannot afford not to do this at this point.'" Click here to see the actual broadcast.

    Yes, that is what pro-railers are saying - that, "We cannot afford not to do this." Tell that to the hundreds living in shelters, the families evicted from Kea`au Beach park last week, or the school kids who could be riding city buses that we do not have room for, money for, and bus routes possibly being cut. Tell that to the family paying 70% more in their water bill, the billions needed for sewer repairs, the roads falling apart, need I say more? We charge now to camp at city parks, and maybe installing parking meters at parks or charging end users just to use a park are coming next. Don't believe me? Check out Bill 60 on the agenda.

    There are many other mechanisms available to us that we could deploy that are superior on all fronts to rail that stand to resolve our traffic congestion crisis and do not involve massive tax increases. More buses with its front door service beats rail hands down just for beginners.

    If I am to take heed to constituents like Alex Santiago, Kymberly Pine, Sharon Har and Will Espero who want this rail plan to advance at all costs, I would vote yes this Wednesday if I thought their positions were reflective of the majority.

    In contrast, in my own door-to-door conversations, my own survey results, at my own town hall meetings, through my attendance at neighborhood board meetings, and run-ins with constituents at the stores, in addition to every poll of late by media outlets, the vast majority have conveyed that they want this rail to stop. The ones who want this rail, are getting donations to support it, or making something off of it, or actually think people who drive now will forfeit their cars to stand in a rail car. The old belief that "Others will ride it so there will be more room for me on the roads" theory is too, out there fueling the fallacies of rail.

    The vote in 2008 was a bait and switch, a loss leader to sell us something that could not be executed as pitched and sold. We were had. The people want out, want another vote, a chance to swim instead of sink.

    Please come testify this Wednesday at 2pm at Kapolei Hale and let the City Council hear what you have to say. The paid, pro-rail union leaders will be there in force advocating rail must be funded. Do you agree with that?

    Rail has gone bad and it is my duty to stop the madness."

    http://www.councilmanberg.com/

    Another 'What do you think?' Come on folks! Can't you see the multiple problems?
    Life is either an adventure... or you're not doing it right!!!

    Comment


    • Re: Rail Transit

      The fix is in as deep as the first pyle they're about to drive.
      https://www.facebook.com/Bobby-Ingan...5875444640256/

      Comment


      • Re: Rail Transit

        Originally posted by Menehune Man View Post
        ......
        It will cost on average, just to construct the rail as being marketed to us, not factoring in operations and maintenance costs, roughly $27,000.00 in additional taxes paid per family of four above and beyond all other taxes being levied on Oahu. .....

        Based on?

        Has anyone here ever looked into how much money goes into roads at the federal and state level? Just wondering if people have objectively looked into it.

        Comment


        • Re: Rail Transit

          Go ahead, look into it and report back, jt. But first, compare apples to apples and look into the city and county spending on roads (this is a city and county project) and consider the fact that all that spending requirement will not decrease one iota due to rail, since rail does nothing to decrease the need for any road. In fact, rail will be entirely dependent on those roads to deliver passengers.

          Maybe you believe that state and federal spending requirements on roads will be diminished by rail construction. Well, people believe all sorts of things - who am I to dispel [or bother with] your fantasies? It's not roads that will be affected by rail, it's bus service. Bus from home to rail, rail, bus to work, then back again. Or, drive from home to rail, rail, bus to work. Any way you slice it, for most people it will include at least 2 legs of road travel for each trip. We'll still need all those roads, buses and drivers (and even more if rail successfully induces many drivers to switch to rail/bus).

          I think we all know the bulk of rail passengers will be comprised of current bus riders, tourists and retirees.
          Last edited by salmoned; April 24, 2012, 11:30 AM.
          May I always be found beneath your contempt.

          Comment


          • Re: Rail Transit

            Originally posted by salmoned View Post
            Go ahead, look into it and report back, jt. But first, compare apples to apples and look into the city and county spending on roads (this is a city and county project) and consider the fact that all that spending requirement will not decrease one iota due to rail, since rail does nothing to decrease the need for any road. In fact, rail will be entirely dependent on those roads to deliver passengers.

            Maybe you believe that state and federal spending requirements on roads will be diminished by rail construction. Well, people believe all sorts of things - who am I to dispel [or bother with] your fantasies? It's not roads that will be affected by rail, it's bus service. Bus from home to rail, rail, bus to work, then back again. Or, drive from home to rail, rail, bus to work. Any way you slice it, for most people it will include at least 2 legs of road travel for each trip. We'll still need all those roads, buses and drivers (and even more if rail successfully induces many drivers to switch to rail/bus).

            I think we all know the bulk of rail passengers will be comprised of current bus riders, tourists and retirees.
            Why just only at the city and county level for road funding? Do the city roads work the way they should without connecting to roads funded by state and fed funds? Even the rail project, while it is a city project, gets funding from the feds. I question the cost per family of four because more often than not, that cost leaves out the fed contribution and leaves out the tourist contribution. Some anti-rail numbers throw in the op cost of The Bus and The Handivan into the rail cost which is stacking the numbers.

            I ask whoever reads these comments to think about the cost of roads because that is a very real cost that should be objectively compared. For the last several years, the federal highway account has been in the red and billions were transferred from the general fund to help it out. I never said rail will replace existing roads but I do believe we should strive to limit building any more new roads if current road funding won't even support maintenance of existing. You don't need to dispel my fantasies nor I of yours. Your tolerance for how many legs in a trip is strictly your tolerance. Even if all rail ridership is supposedly just current bus riders, tourists, and retirees, that's still better because rail op has a 40% farebox recovery vs 27% on the bus.

            Comment


            • Re: Rail Transit

              I just pointed out that comparing road spending to rail spending is a strawman argument because road spending cannot and will not be decreased or supplanted by rail spending. Rail or no rail, roads must be built and maintained. Do you deny it?

              Again, you want to compare apples to oranges. Separating rail farebox recovery from bus farebox recovery will not be possible if the systems are integrated. Will the combined farebox recovery increase or decrease with an integrated bus/rail transit system? Also, if the systems are not integrated, will we be paying 2 or 3 fares to go from Ewa to downtown or Hawaii Kai?

              Let's pretend your rail operating farebox recovery percentages are accurate, how much upfront expense is that 13% increase in recovery worth? How many actual dollars will be saved in comparison to the amount spent in seeking that savings? I believe it would be comparable to spending a million dollars to buy a car with 40 mpg rating versus keeping your current car with 27mpg rating. Does that make sense to you? [Actually, I have exaggerated the rail benefit in this comparison because it only applies to a small segment of the total transit system rather than all our transit needs]

              Now, if we didn't have motor vehicles and there were no roads and motor vehicles couldn't be made more fuel efficient and all future development was restricted to the rail line, then rail might make some economic sense for Oahu, maybe.
              Last edited by salmoned; April 25, 2012, 02:11 AM.
              May I always be found beneath your contempt.

              Comment


              • Re: Rail Transit

                Originally posted by salmoned View Post
                I just pointed out that comparing road spending to rail spending is a strawman argument because road spending cannot and will not be decreased or supplanted by rail spending. Rail or no rail, roads must be built and maintained. Do you deny it?

                Again, you want to compare apples to oranges. Separating rail farebox recovery from bus farebox recovery will not be possible if the systems are integrated. Will the combined farebox recovery increase or decrease with an integrated bus/rail transit system? Also, if the systems are not integrated, will we be paying 2 or 3 fares to go from Ewa to downtown or Hawaii Kai?

                Let's pretend your rail operating farebox recovery percentages are accurate, how much upfront expense is that 13% increase in recovery worth? How many actual dollars will be saved in comparison to the amount spent in seeking that savings? I believe it would be comparable to spending a million dollars to buy a car with 40 mpg rating versus keeping your current car with 27mpg rating. Does that make sense to you? [Actually, I have exaggerated the rail benefit in this comparison because it only applies to a small segment of the total transit system rather than all our transit needs]

                Now, if we didn't have motor vehicles and there were no roads and motor vehicles couldn't be made more fuel efficient and all future development was restricted to the rail line, then rail might make some economic sense for Oahu, maybe.
                Again, I never said building rail will replace existing roads which should answer your first question. But to answer it more directly, roads of course will need to be built and maintained. I've never denied that. But at no point was rail ever propositioned as a 1:1 replacement for roads. Having said that, I do not see comparing cost of roads to rail as a strawman argument because it can keep in check the cost of roads. While rail won't replace a new road to a new neighborhood, it absolutely can replace a need for another H1.

                I think an actual separation of fare into a bus fare and rail fare would be fairer to someone that as an example, rides a local bus segment and never touches the rail segment. But the administrative and logistical overhead of doing this far outweighs the benefit until ridership hits a certain threshold. Same rationale for us going with an honor fare system for now.

                But you can still compare farebox recovery of bus to rail because the route rail runs will replace that bus route. So you have X amount brought in by fares and you compare that to bus op cost and to rail op cost.

                Your final question about how much is spent in order to get that 13% savings advantage is understandable. I know what you are saying. But the answer depends on the length of time you apply your question to. If it's 13% annually, the cost of building the system can be recovered in a certain time frame. I guess what bothers people would be what is an acceptable time frame. 10 years? 20? 30?

                I also believe the system integrated will actually help increase public transit ridership overall so there should be a gross increase in fare intake as well. That can speed up the time frame in recouping the project cost.

                Comment


                • Re: Rail Transit

                  You are wrong on every point.

                  First, there will never be a need for another H1, rail or no rail. As for expanding the capacity of H1, that is already needed and will not be resolved by rail. Mentioning roadway expenses as an argument for rail is plain misdirection.

                  You fail to understand that transit riders don't want a mythical 'fairer' fare system, they want one that is reasonable, both financially and logistically.

                  Rail will not replace any segment of the bus routes. Buses will have to run along the same roads to provide the same service, unless the service area is reduced. It is true that some long-haul routes may be cut, but short-haul routes will have to be expanded in equal or greater measure to provide equivalent service.

                  Finally, you forget that farebox operating expense revenue is measured as a percentage of cost - there is never a return of capital unless farebox revenue exceeds 100% of operating expense. In other words, if gross farebox receipts increase, then gross transit operating expense will increase, not decrease. There is no time frame where rail becomes less expensive than no rail [within the estimated lifespan of the rail system] and certainly there is no possibility of recouping project costs - ever.

                  So please, stop proving your ignorance.
                  Last edited by salmoned; April 25, 2012, 12:55 PM.
                  May I always be found beneath your contempt.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Rail Transit

                    Originally posted by salmoned View Post
                    You are wrong on every point.

                    First, there will never be a need for another H1, rail or no rail. As for expanding the capacity of H1, that is already needed and will not be resolved by rail. Mentioning roadway expenses as an argument for rail is plain misdirection.

                    You fail to understand that transit riders don't want a mythical 'fairer' fare system, they want one that is reasonable, both financially and logistically.

                    Rail will not replace any segment of the bus routes. Buses will have to run along the same roads to provide the same service, unless the service area is reduced. It is true that some long-haul routes may be cut, but short-haul routes will have to be expanded in equal or greater measure to provide equivalent service.

                    Finally, you forget that farebox operating expense revenue is measured as a percentage of cost - there is never a return of capital unless farebox revenue exceeds 100% of operating expense. In other words, if gross farebox receipts increase, then gross transit operating expense will increase, not decrease. There is no time frame where rail becomes less expensive than no rail [within the estimated lifespan of the rail system] and certainly there is no possibility of recouping project costs - ever.

                    So please, stop proving your ignorance.

                    Re-striping to create additional lanes (forsaken emergency lanes) and expanding the zipperlane will only do so much for the existing H1. Without any change in way of transportation, there will be the need for another freeway equivalent. It wasn't that long ago that the airport viaduct of the H1 was built. Didn't take much time to jam it up. As early as the late 1960s, there was already talk of a H4 running along the downtown waterfront.

                    There is nothing mythical about a fairer transit fare structure. For a rider taking a short trip, paying a lesser fare than someone who is riding end to end is very reasonable and fairer. On the same note, for someone who is riding a longer trip or an express service should be paying more. Many transit systems employ this.

                    Check the appendix in the FEIS, much detail on revised bus routes showing rail replacing many existing routes. The Bus is then further extended into new areas with revised or new routes so in essence, the footprint of public transit will be expanded.

                    We don't have to base it only on percentages. The operating cost of The Bus will be $195 million compared to $77 million for rail. Believe what you want.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Rail Transit

                      On top of rail opposition now getting Federal(?) historical preservation honcho backing, there's an op-ed in the new Weekly saying The Bus service is doomed to sufferring major financial cutbacks and corresponding diminished route service to important lines like the townbound Circle Island, now scheduled to end in Wahiawa instead of taking hundreds to their further destinations. The Bus money will go to rail and those depending on the bus to get them to work are looking at serious problems and may have to spend $ to buy a car they otherwise don't need or are able to afford, adding to the traffic problems and curtailling more major benefits of any possible sensible/honest rail.
                      Seems there's going to be no end to the disasters these nonsense rail pushers are inflicting on this island.
                      https://www.facebook.com/Bobby-Ingan...5875444640256/

                      Comment


                      • Re: Rail Transit

                        Makes you want to pray for speed in global warming, and wish for an O'ahu major tsunami.
                        Nah. Wouldn't work, or at least wouldn't be enough.

                        Maybe Iran can nuke us? Or S. Korea?
                        Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
                        ~ ~
                        Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
                        Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
                        Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

                        Comment


                        • Re: Rail Transit

                          Only tangentially related is the fate of the railway system on the Big Island.

                          The system was damaged badly by a tsunami and the supporting infrastructure abandoned.

                          the system was designed to service the sugar mills but passenger service was adopted
                          after a while.

                          In Hilo there are a few traces of these train tracks but they are hard to find.
                          The original bridge across the Wailuku is probably where the "Singing Bridge"
                          now sits.

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                          • Re: Rail Transit

                            The photos fooled me at first I'll admit!!

                            http://www.bigislandrail.zoomshare.com/

                            Comment


                            • Re: Rail Transit

                              Awesome !
                              fooled me too.
                              {not to hard to do}
                              Nonetheless,the history of the Big Island rail transit is worthy of study and likely
                              to bring pleasure to students thereof

                              Comment


                              • Re: Rail Transit

                                I watched a movie I rented from Netflix called The Ride and most of it was meant to be set in 1911 when there was nothing but the Moana Hotel and Diamond Head in Waikiki. Before the guy went back to where he came from, him and the girl were on Oahu Railway, apparently a train service that was on the island then?? I watched in the background and saw the Waianae Mt's a little before where Schofield and Wahiawa would later be but then there was ocean behind them which didn't really add up unless they cut the scene to when they were almost to their destination of Haleiwa. Then later on when he "got back", they showed the same dilapidated railway car sitting on what was left of the train track and I am not aware of ever having seen anything having to do with trains on Oahu.

                                Since the girl was trying to believe that he really had come from the future, she asked him if all the beauty they were seeing at this freshwater pond they went to swim in would still be there and knowing it wouldn't, he replied "I hope so".

                                Mostly the story was about the surfing history and Duke Kahanamoku tho but it also made me think of this thread and wondering if eventually they will not be happy until every square inch of the beautiful Oahu is covered with cars and blacktops and ways to get from one place to another.
                                If anyone on Oahu is NOT happy , feel free to trade places with me.

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