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Thread: Rail Transit

  1. #276
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    Increasing the number of routes into the city isn't a great long-term solution because the traffic ends up in the same spot with a limited amount of parking available.
    Not sure I agree; nor would I know how to back up my stance. I get on the freeway, heading toward Ewa, in Kalihi, and there's plenty of traffic already on the freeway going in my direction. Those cars don't end up "in the same spot." I'll bet quite a bit of traffic on the freeway coming from Kapolei, Ewa, and Mililani doesn't go all the way into town as well.

    Living closer to work is a great concept but a too many can't afford it. That's why so many subdivisions are being built in Ewa and beyond.
    I don't think you heard what I'm saying. Of course too many people cannot afford to live in town. What I am saying is that this needs to change. Putting different residential options for people of different levels of income in town and the surrounding areas is the best way to go. Planning only for high-end, expensive residences is poor planning and affects (negatively) the quality of life for everyone involved.

    Sure, I know there are a lot of people who prefer the suburban life, but I'll bet a great number of people would choose to live in town if they could afford it. I'm saying that there's got to be a way to get those people into town. I know there's got to be a way, because there are successful cities on the mainland that make it work.
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  2. #277

    Default Re: on our soon to be rail tranisit

    Quote Originally Posted by jkpescador View Post
    I guess you didn't read this article:
    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...802100361.html
    Transit system likely won't improve traffic
    Whoa! Can somebody say whoever wrote the headline had an agenda?

    If someone took the time to read and digest the complete article, both sides of the issue were presented. It wasn't entirely dwelling on the negatives of rail.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  3. #278
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    The long-term answer is finding an energy-efficient way of moving people, not cars.
    You still need to wean them from their cars.

    Is there a survey of Honolulu commuters who would be willing to leave the comfort and convenience of their personal automotive vehicle for an efficient mode of transportation to and from their workplace?

    Is there a survey of Honolulu commuters who use their vehicle as part of their job (like a mobile office, with the exception of delivery services) would be willing to ditch it in favor of a public transit that offer the same function?

  4. #279

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    Increasing the number of routes into the city isn't a great long-term solution because the traffic ends up in the same spot with a limited amount of parking available.
    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    Not sure I agree; nor would I know how to back up my stance. I get on the freeway, heading toward Ewa, in Kalihi, and there's plenty of traffic already on the freeway going in my direction. Those cars don't end up "in the same spot."
    Maybe not all of them end up in the exact same spot. But enough of them do end up going to UH-Manoa, downtown, and Waikiki, where parking is definitely a problem. So AFAIAC, Composite's point is well taken.

    We need to be encouraging mass transportation, not encouraging more private vehicle ownership.

    And doing nothing about the issue is not a viable option, either. As the population grows, the traffic gridlock and parking shortage will only get worse. Think those problems are bad now? Sing along with me,...

    You ain't seen nothin' yet.
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  5. #280
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    Question Re: Rail Transit

    Here's a question.

    Are spaces for bicycles being considered aboard?

    I haven't noticed it mentioned anywhere.
    Life is either an adventure... or you're not doing it right!!!

  6. #281

    Default Re: on our soon to be rail tranisit

    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    At 5 billion dollars, this boondoggle is going to cost each family in Hawaii over $20,000, to include neighbor island familys who will not get any benefit from rail.
    How does this affect neighbor islands? They don't have the extra 0.5% tax.

  7. #282

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Menehune Man View Post
    Here's a question.

    Are spaces for bicycles being considered aboard?

    I haven't noticed it mentioned anywhere.
    Many rail cars have the space for bikes located in the articulated half car that connects two cars. You hang the bike up on hooks and there are tire slots to keep the bike in place during transit.

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    I don't think you heard what I'm saying. Of course too many people cannot afford to live in town. What I am saying is that this needs to change. Putting different residential options for people of different levels of income in town and the surrounding areas is the best way to go. Planning only for high-end, expensive residences is poor planning and affects (negatively) the quality of life for everyone involved.

    Sure, I know there are a lot of people who prefer the suburban life, but I'll bet a great number of people would choose to live in town if they could afford it. I'm saying that there's got to be a way to get those people into town. I know there's got to be a way, because there are successful cities on the mainland that make it work.
    The only way there will be affordable units in town will be high density units. Which is fine to me but many people can't get past that.

  8. #283
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    Thumbs down Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    How does this affect neighbor islands? They don't have the extra 0.5% tax.
    Some businesses and their customers on the neighbor islands are negatively impacted by the .5% train tax.

    From the State Tax Dept. FAQ

    Neighbor island businesses (and out-of-state businesses) that deliver goods or services to Oahu, and have a 'physical presence' on Oahu, must pay the new 1/2% County Surcharge tax on their Oahu transactions. ('Physical presence' means, for example having an office on Oahu, an employee or agent on Oahu, or sales reps. traveling to Oahu to do business.)

    In general, any income earned from any transaction related to an Oahu customer is subject to the 1/2% County Surcharge tax.

    * Business activities that are subject to the 4% GE tax rate, such as retailing of goods & services, contracting, renting real property or tangible personal property, and interest income are also subject to the 1/2% County Surcharge tax.
    The GE tax surcharge to pay for rail will not be enough to pay for the whole thing and the county will have to take more of our money through increased taxes at some future date. Details at this link: The Case Against Rail & More Taxes.

  9. #284
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    Default Re: on our soon to be rail tranisit

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post

    HonoluluTraffic.com's Cliff Slater stated that the cost to build rail is close to $6.4 billion!

    More at HonoluluTraffic.com
    Mel, oh wow!~ that's about what I was guessing and just seeing this sign on stage with the fella and that number...okay....I underestimated, make that an unlucky never 7.............sigh.....the unions run everything up and they claim weather and all types of delays.

    Good grief! Just picture me as the one muttering to myself as I walk away...confounded, looking as confused as Edith bunker at her worst moment......WHY rail?!! Why not double-decker highways and us all still in our cozy, private cars?! if every inch of hiway becomes double decker then you have twice the roadway. Is this too simple a concept? I like it! You also then have no arguing as to where rail does, or does not go.

  10. #285

    Default Re: on our soon to be rail tranisit

    Quote Originally Posted by Random View Post
    The only way to stop people from using their cars is to stop offering fuels to them.
    I take it you're not a big believer in Freedom and Liberty. Sorry, you're in the wrong country.

  11. #286

    Default Re: on our soon to be rail tranisit

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    Good grief! Just picture me as the one muttering to myself as I walk away...confounded, looking as confused as Edith bunker at her worst moment......WHY rail?!! Why not double-decker highways and us all still in our cozy, private cars?! if every inch of hiway becomes double decker then you have twice the roadway. Is this too simple a concept? I like it! You also then have no arguing as to where rail does, or does not go.
    Aw Jesus, Edith!

    Double-deck, heck TRIPLE-deck the highways if you want. It still does not address the issue of parking space shortage in high density areas, as well as the burden each of the surrounding residential neighborhoods have with commuters parking on their streets all day long. Adding more road ways to encourage more people to drive cars will only make the parking problem worse. Not so with rail.

    Why rail? Because if there's a major accident/fatality on the freeway during morning/afternoon rush hour, you know what happens. Total gridlock for everybody, whether in a car or on a bus. Not so with rail.

    So many people here are convinced that rail will be underutilized. And a lot of folks have swallowed 20+ years of Cliff Slater's anti-rail propaganda in Advertiser opinion pieces and City Council testimonies as gospel. By all means, drink his Kool-Aid if you want to gag on increasingly slower traffic and longer drive times. But I am convinced that more working people and students can be convinced to leave their cars at home if there are modes of mass transportation that is reliable and gets to destinations on time like clockwork. That is why many people are weary of using the bus. Traffic accidents and road closures can play absolute havoc with the bus timetable. Not so with rail.

    Get da picture?
    Last edited by Frankie's Market; February 25th, 2008 at 09:58 AM.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  12. #287

    Default Re: on our soon to be rail tranisit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    How does this affect neighbor islands? They don't have the extra 0.5% tax.
    Oops, I had bad info and thought the higher tax applied to the entire state.

    But still yet, mel makes an excellent point that the neighbor island people will pay indirectly, since the higher tax has to be paid (and passed to the consumer) by any business that operates on Oahu.

    I wonder if the higher tax has to be paid on all the freight that comes in through Honolulu and is then shipped to the neighbor islands.

    At any rate, this means less tax revenue, which means a higher likelihood that, at the end of the day, there will not be enough money to get this project off the ground. I hope.

  13. #288

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    The cost of rail has to be compared to what it would cost everyone if we don't have an efficient mass-transit system.

    How much will it cost to stack our freeways and keep them in good condition? Sounds like a simple process but it takes a lot of complex engineering to build elevated roadways that won't collapse.

    How many people will be displaced by additional or larger onramps and offramps? Compare that to the footprint of a rail system. And even if these onramps and offramps are built, are they going to be able to deliver the increased number of cars into and out of a relatively small area (downtown Honolulu) without serious bottlenecks to traffic flow?

    As it is now, downtown streets are clogged with traffic. Adding more routes into that grid will make it worse.

    Forget about bus transit solutions. They're subject to gridlock just like any other current form of transportation. Whatever Honolulu comes up with, it has to be independent of the current highway system.

    If we don't build a good mass-transit system, what's the economic impact of longer commute times and less productivity? What's the cost of an increase in the number of auto accidents along with associated injuries, loss of productivity and repairs? How much will we spend on maintaining and fueling a greater number of cars? And what are we doing with the waste products cars generate? This should include non-recyclable tires, lead from batteries, waste oil contaminated with metals and the mountain of metal and plastic from scrapped vehicles.

    What sort of environmental effects would we expect? Many cars tend to leak small amounts of oil and coolant, and those pollutants end up on our roadways. The rain washes them into storm drains, then into our littoral waters where they poison the reef. All the dust and debris from wearing tires and brake pads get added to this. Then add the usual greenhouse gasses emitted by cars, many of which aren't properly tuned up and tend to run dirty.

    More fuel needed to run more cars means increasing our dependency on imported oil. Electrically powered transit systems can tap into other alternative energy sources as they're developed.

    Realistically, either individuals are going to pay for a rail system through their taxes or, if we don't have a rail system, they're going to pay much more buying cars and paying for everything else associated with automobiles. There's no free lunch either way.

  14. #289

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    The cost of rail has to be compared to what it would cost everyone if we don't have an efficient mass-transit system.

    How much will it cost to stack our freeways and keep them in good condition? Sounds like a simple process but it takes a lot of complex engineering to build elevated roadways that won't collapse.
    Not to mention even more basic issues like pavement surfacing. Look at all the complaints that motorists have about the potholes and generally substandard conditions of the roads that we have today. Well, does anyone think that the situation will get any better by adding still more roads when we are barely able to maintain what we have now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    How many people will be displaced by additional or larger onramps and offramps? Compare that to the footprint of a rail system.
    Building a rail system will, of course, involve condemnation and create what many people might consider a visual blight. But so would double-stacking the freeways too! There's no escaping from these issues when it comes to seriously addressing the traffic problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    Realistically, either individuals are going to pay for a rail system through their taxes or, if we don't have a rail system, they're going to pay much more buying cars and paying for everything else associated with automobiles. There's no free lunch either way.
    Ain't it the truth.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  15. #290

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Random View Post
    You still need to wean them from their cars.

    Is there a survey of Honolulu commuters who would be willing to leave the comfort and convenience of their personal automotive vehicle for an efficient mode of transportation to and from their workplace?

    Is there a survey of Honolulu commuters who use their vehicle as part of their job (like a mobile office, with the exception of delivery services) would be willing to ditch it in favor of a public transit that offer the same function?
    Good questions. If I still worked in an office I'd want a good mass-transit option. I know my wife would.

    As for weaning people from cars, all it takes is money. If it starts costing too much to drive and park, people will start to consider other options. To some degree that's already happening. Some are changing over to hybrid vehicles. Or getting rid of their large SUV's. I know of one pest exterminator who traded his truck for a Toyota Corolla and saves $500 a month in gas. He found a ladder that could fold up small enough to fit in the trunk and made everything else fit into a smaller vehicle to do his estimates.

    Parking in downtown Honolulu isn't cheap. $170/month and up. Median was around $355. In 10 years that adds up to $35,000 or more just to park your car. Then there's the cost of ownership. A Honda Civic, according to Edmunds, will cost about $35,000 over five years to own and operate. About $0.48 a mile. That comes to $105,000 over 10 years to drive yourself to work in a Honda Civic and park downtown. Doesn't include the time spent stuck in traffic where you're not supposed to be talking on the cell phone, reading the news on a laptop or doing any of the other distractive things a driver is supposed to avoid.

    A bus pass for that same time period is $4,400. If a rail pass were double that cost, then it comes to $8,800 over 10 years. About $96,200 cheaper.

  16. #291

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Rail is no substitute for the convenience of a personal vehicle. The nearest rail station will be miles away from most homes, and miles away from most workplaces.

    It cannot replace a personal vehicle when you need to drop the kids off at school, go to the beach, or perform multiple errands all about town.

  17. #292

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    Rail is no substitute for the convenience of a personal vehicle. The nearest rail station will be miles away from most homes, and miles away from most workplaces.

    It cannot replace a personal vehicle when you need to drop the kids off at school, go to the beach, or perform multiple errands all about town.
    Pressure washers do a great job of blowing crud off the sidewalk but I wouldn't want to use one to pick my teeth. Everything has its purpose in this world. No single device can be everything to everyone.

    Rail transit has a particular purpose. Moving a large number of people into and out of a given set of destinations independently of street traffic. If you work in an office and don't have to carry two hundred pounds of tools to fix refrigerators in people's houses you'll probably find it a great alternative.

    Rail isn't an answer for everyone and it doesn't have to be. But it can do something exceptionally well, and that's to move people efficiently in terms of time, space and energy. It's not cheap, but no form of motorized transportation is. At 48 cents per mile, cars are among the most expensive.

    As for dropping kids off at school, when they're old enough they can take mass transit to school. When I was in intermediate school that's what I did. For a year after we moved to Leeward Oahu I finished up the 8th grade at Kaimuki and took the bus back to Kalihi to ride home with my mom.

    And when I worked in town I carpooled in with my wife. But since I got off earlier I'd ride my bike home: 17 miles of exercise.

    Right now we're lucky to have gas at $3.30 a gallon. In Japan gas is $6.5 a gallon. For those who might not be able to afford the inevitable price hikes, mass transit can be a very good option. But only if it's able to move someone from in a reasonable amount of time. When I caught the bus from UH to Leeward Oahu it took two hours. Back then I wished there were a better option. And keep in mind that not everyone can drive. There are a lot of people who have some sort of handicap or impairment that prevents them from the luxury of a car. Those people deserve a viable alternative, too.

  18. #293

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Composite, I agree with many of your points. There is no denying that the rail will be useful to a great many people.

    My objection to rail in Honolulu is that the mayor's priorities are all screwed up. This town needs to expand its highways more badly than it needs rail. More lanes of highway will do more to make Honolulu a better place to live than rail will. The mayor is putting all his eggs in the wrong basket, instead of spreading the eggs around to more important baskets first.

    Instead of rail, dedicated bus lanes (the rubber on cement solution instead of the steel on rail solution) would be so much cheaper to build and operate while being just as effective as rail, since such a solution would allow buses to bypass traffic jams.

    I live in town. I live within walking distance to work. I live within walking distance of Ala Moana and much shopping. And yet, I still own a car because there's more to life than commuting to and from work and shopping.

  19. #294
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    When I lived in Japan I had to walk nearly a mile to get to my train station. Then I had to transfer to another train, then I had to walk another half-mile to the office. It took over an hour to get to work. Everyone did this. Or more. Some had to take a bus to the train station, then ride for an hour. It was a way of life. And it was good exercise.

    I suppose it built character, too.

    I owned a car. I used it on the weekends and holidays.

    Shopping? I'd pick up groceries on the way home from work. Two bags, enough for dinner, and not too heavy to carry. Or I'd buy a bunch of stuff (beer and the heavy stuff) on the weekends using my car. At a store close to my house.

    People weep about "how far" the stations will be from their homes. Well, that's what the bus is for. What do they expect, the thing to go right to their doorstep? Take the bus to the nearest station, jump on the train, then hop another bus when you get into town.

    That's how it works.

    People here are too lazy.
    Last edited by dick; February 26th, 2008 at 12:46 AM.

  20. #295
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    Default Re: on our soon to be rail tranisit

    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    I take it you're not a big believer in Freedom and Liberty. Sorry, you're in the wrong country.
    Bah. They're overrated. People needs to be controlled.

  21. #296
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    It cannot replace a personal vehicle when you need to drop the kids off at school, go to the beach, or perform multiple errands all about town.
    I've seen parents with schoolchildren ride on TheBus.

    I've seen boogieboarders and girls in bikini under their sarong carrying their beach mat and takeout food on TheBus.

  22. #297
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    My objection to rail in Honolulu is that the mayor's priorities are all screwed up. This town needs to expand its highways more badly than it needs rail. More lanes of highway will do more to make Honolulu a better place to live than rail will. The mayor is putting all his eggs in the wrong basket, instead of spreading the eggs around to more important baskets first.
    Expanding highways by adding more lanes means they have to buy more lands from residents.

    The only other solution is to go up, but then having another level of freeway is going to ruin the scenic view. That and I'm reminded of the San Francisco earthquake back in the 90's where two levels of a freeway collapsed and sandwiched both vehicles and riders


    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    Instead of rail, dedicated bus lanes (the rubber on cement solution instead of the steel on rail solution) would be so much cheaper to build and operate while being just as effective as rail, since such a solution would allow buses to bypass traffic jams.
    That would mean sacrificing one or two lanes.


    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    I live in town. I live within walking distance to work. I live within walking distance of Ala Moana and much shopping. And yet, I still own a car because there's more to life than commuting to and from work and shopping.
    Lucky you. At least you won't contribute to the traffic problem during rush hour. I don't mind weekend drivers. It's the commuters that won't consider carpooling.

  23. #298

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    When I lived in Japan I had to walk nearly a mile to get to my train station. Then I had to transfer to another train, then I had to walk another half-mile to the office. It took over an hour to get to work. Everyone did this. Or more. Some had to take a bus to the train station, then ride for an hour. It was a way of life. And it was good exercise.

    I suppose it built character, too.

    I owned a car. I used it on the weekends and holidays.

    Shopping? I'd pick up groceries on the way home from work. Two bags, enough for dinner, and not too heavy to carry. Or I'd buy a bunch of stuff (beer and the heavy stuff) on the weekends using my car. At a store close to my house.

    People weep about "how far" the stations will be from their homes. Well, that's what the bus is for. What do they expect, the thing to go right to their doorstep? Take the bus to the nearest station, jump on the train, then hop another bus when you get into town.

    That's how it works.

    People here are too lazy.
    Problem is, people keep trying to compare a public transit system to the standards of a private transit system, apples to oranges. Most folks who own cars don't even do their own maintenance, oil change, rotate tires, etc.; thus from their point of view, a car is so much more convenient. But when you start comparing in detail, each form of transport has their advantages and disadvantages.

    Another benefit of all that walking is less medical problems and potentially, lower health insurance costs. My brother's no slouch but after living in Japan and doing all that walking, he's definitely gotten more cut, all without having to use a gym.


    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    As for dropping kids off at school, when they're old enough they can take mass transit to school. When I was in intermediate school that's what I did. For a year after we moved to Leeward Oahu I finished up the 8th grade at Kaimuki and took the bus back to Kalihi to ride home with my mom.

    Right now we're lucky to have gas at $3.30 a gallon. In Japan gas is $6.5 a gallon. For those who might not be able to afford the inevitable price hikes, mass transit can be a very good option. But only if it's able to move someone from in a reasonable amount of time. When I caught the bus from UH to Leeward Oahu it took two hours. Back then I wished there were a better option. And keep in mind that not everyone can drive. There are a lot of people who have some sort of handicap or impairment that prevents them from the luxury of a car. Those people deserve a viable alternative, too.
    Another prospect is to give school children (let's say 6th grade and up), free rail/bus passes in lieu of the school bus.

    What was the price of gas 5 years ago? In the $1 range? It's not that far fetched to have $6/gal gas here 5 years from now. Remember, India rolled out their mini car for the masses, another billion people will be vying for gas.

  24. #299

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    Rail is no substitute for the convenience of a personal vehicle. The nearest rail station will be miles away from most homes, and miles away from most workplaces.

    It cannot replace a personal vehicle when you need to drop the kids off at school, go to the beach, or perform multiple errands all about town.
    The New York metropolitan area has the Long Island Railroad, Metro North (for upstate NY), and PATH New Jersey (this is all in addition to the NYC subway system). I would say the vast majority of riders from all 3 systems also own automobiles. However, it's simply too expensive and too tiresome to drive into NYC during peak commuting times. So people park at the stations, have relatives pick them up at the station, take the bus, or in the rare case, they walk.

    These commuters save a bit on parking, gasoline, and tolls, not to mention time (1 hour to get home while sitting back, versus 2 hours in traffic bumper to bumper) -- if they didn't, or couldn't take the train, I can't even imagine how the already heavily congested roads would be like. But they don't forfeit their cars in the process.

    Walking from a station would be more feasible in Hawaii. I used to walk from UH Manoa to Kahala Mall quite often, just for the heck of it. The weather was almost always conducive to long walks, but I really can't say the same for the Northeastern US, outside of a handful of nice spring days. In addition to weather issues, surveys about obesity in America would suggest that Honolulu has some of the most physically fit citizens in the nation (I don't recall who conducted this, feel free to back up or refute this).

    In theory, I believe a rail system in HI would be a very good thing. In theory. However, I am very concerned about the details, especially the impact on the environment and scenery. I hope if this goes through, that the planner is very conscientious about the aforementioned, and that in general, it is very well executed. If they're doing this mainly to throw some contracts to some cronies however, then that's grim indeed. If there are well into planning this, I also hope they would be limiting railroad crossings that would interrupt street traffic.

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    Another prospect is to give school children (let's say 6th grade and up), free rail/bus passes in lieu of the school bus.
    I believe everyone enrolled in K-12 in NYC area gets a free metrocard.
    Last edited by Vanguard; February 26th, 2008 at 11:49 AM.

  25. #300
    sansei Guest

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    hi this is sansei and here's what i think, the railtransit is good for our community is that people from Kapolei to town wont have to worry about waiting in trafficgridlock and being impaitent and complaining from what i hear on the news and they'll be more happy when they ride it and i've even rode the bart and it's quick from one place to another and this is better than riding in a car vs the railtransit and no one will have to wait in trafficgridlock so I Thought to share my Thought's with everyone.

    well thank's for your time

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