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Thread: Rail Transit

  1. #126

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Sure, we're paying more in general excise tax. Lowell Kalapa claims that the average family of four will pay $500 each year in increased GE tax. But that means each family of four spends $100,000 annually. I sure wish I were that affluent. Talk about myth building. Too many won't stop to do the math and will buy into arguments like this.

    Compare the GE tax increase to how much more we're paying in gas costs. We spent $1.3 billion in gas last year. What we spend in gas each year will quickly dwarf what we will pay for a rail transit system.

    Factor in the cost of accidents. In 1990, according to state data, there were about 140 injuries per 100,000 population for motor vehicle crashes. How many of those were from municipal bus accidents? Anyone see any major news of these incidents involving our bus system? The rail system can be expected to have at least as good a safety record as our municipal bus. These deaths and injuries from private vehicles are something we all pay for: Increased auto insurance. Health insurance. Loss of productivity. Welfare to support people who are now incapacitated.

    Meanwhile, the option to moving more people instead of an efficient guideway system is ... ?

    We need to move a lot of people as efficiently as possible. Both in terms of fuel, time and cost. When looking at the price of any transit system, it needs to be compared to the cost of all other transit systems including private cars. And anyone thinking that private vehicles aren't a social cost is deceiving themselves. Aside from the cost of the cars themselves, there's operational expenses, cost of parking (what do people downtown pay for parking?) increased generation of greenhouse gasses, what to do with waste oil, plus injuries and deaths from POV's.

    Other transit options:

    Ocean ferry? No. Costs too much to push a boat on the water and it's too subject to weather. Anyone spending any time on the sea will know this.

    Bus? No. Gets caught in the same traffic as cars. Those thinking it's the best option needs to spend 4 hours a day trying to get from Leeward Oahu to UH.

    Second city? No. What if your job is in housekeeping in Waikiki and you live in Ewa? People need to go where the jobs are. If you fix planes for a living, you'll need to get to the airport. There are already stories of people living in East Oahu having to work in Kapolei when the City moved some of its offices.

    Telecommuting? Not for everyone. Tough to work in construction via computer.

    Bikes? How many are willing to pedal an hour each way each day. And how many are mentally tough enough to deal with traffic near Aloha Stadium? Or even go past the Board of Water Supply on Beretania?

    Complaining about having to pay for something that might not get used by a major part of the population in the state is a weak argument. I pay for health insurance yet I don't get sick. I never used the boat ramps in Hilo yet my boat ramp fee covers that cost. Some of my taxes go toward maintaining roadways and highways that I'll never use. It's part of being in a society that supports it citizens.

    Rail transit is a necessary evil, if you will. Anyone here feel that freeways are a wonderful, pretty sight? Anyone recall the stormy history of H3, when it was TH-3 and was supposed to go through Moanalua Valley? How much noise is anyone making about it today? And does anyone even notice the concrete structure winding its way along the Koolau range anymore? These are things that we all rely upon now. And I doubt that there are many out there who opposed these things who still adamantly refuse to utilize them.

    If this weren't such an attractive place to live and if the population hadn't gotten so huge, we wouldn't need freeways, vast expanses of asphalt, expansion of our harbor facilities and airports or rail transit systems.

  2. #127
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    With Democrats in control of Congress, rail supporters will have an easier time securing the federal funds (more taxes)
    Better that than some other things they've been spending money on lately... At least those tax dollars will go towards helping our own citizens.

  3. #128

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    I guess Charles Dijou and Barbara Marshall didn't receive coal in their stockings from Mel this year.

    Next thing I'll be hearing from the anti-rail folks is that they will have to take on an extra job to pay the extra half percentage on taxes come next week.

    If they build it they will come and most of those that are currently bitching will be riding the rail once it's built. It happens in every city on the mainland. Just think if 15 years ago when Fasi was in if the city council had approved the rail we would have had it already for a few years. But I can't complain about Honolulu's slow steps towards being a modern major metropolitan city without major transportation choices, Phoenix is finally building their rail transit after years of people fighting it. Why? Because the traffic is terrible over there as well even with the addition of several freeways, loops and bypasses. And wasnt that the rallying cry of Dijou and the rail dissenters: Build more roads....so we can add more cars on them!!

    KalihiBoy

  4. #129
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    Ocean ferry? No. Costs too much to push a boat on the water and it's too subject to weather. Anyone spending any time on the sea will know this.
    The Federal Government has been doing it for YEARS!

    My daughter, son-in-law and grandson rides the Ewa Ferry from Iroquois Point M-F. They take both cars. Pay $3.00 each to and fro. Save time, money and stress. They get to go outta their cars and watch the scenic view of the beautiful ocean and Oahu. Maxium ride time is ten minutes. Then they go into their cars and leave for their destinations...meet again at pauhana and go home.

    The weather doesn't stop the Ferry.

    If neva have Gas ~ yeah. But the Fed's get plenty gasoline.hahahaha

    Auntie Lynn
    Be AKAMAI ~ KOKUA Hawai`i!
    Philippians 4:13 --- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  5. #130

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalihiboy View Post
    I guess Charles Dijou and Barbara Marshall didn't receive coal in their stockings from Mel this year.
    I'm not surprised either Djou or Marshall voted against, considering the districts they represented would not see a direct, immediate benefit from a rail. Now that the vote's been taken, I just hope they focus on keeping the cost and accountability in check instead of just trying to sabotage.

    If the rail was decided upon in the past attempts, we wouldn't even have to look at the current price tag and 80% of the tab would have been picked up by the feds. People complain about the taxes, why did they reject the 80% fed funding? That was like getting a huge tax rebate considering at 80%, we essentially had fed taxpayers from other states picking up the tab for us. So much for doing the math.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1stwahine View Post
    The Federal Government has been doing it for YEARS!

    My daughter, son-in-law and grandson rides the Ewa Ferry from Iroquois Point M-F. They take both cars. Pay $3.00 each to and fro. Save time, money and stress. They get to go outta their cars and watch the scenic view of the beautiful ocean and Oahu. Maxium ride time is ten minutes. Then they go into their cars and leave for their destinations...meet again at pauhana and go home.

    The weather doesn't stop the Ferry.

    If neva have Gas ~ yeah. But the Fed's get plenty gasoline.hahahaha

    Auntie Lynn
    I'm not aware the ferry still exists? It's been tried several times in the past with fed money on pilot projects but as soon as the subsidizing ended, the ferry just wasn't sustainable.

  6. #131
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    I'm not aware the ferry still exists? It's been tried several times in the past with fed money on pilot projects but as soon as the subsidizing ended, the ferry just wasn't sustainable.
    heheheh

    Mel didn't know about it either. It does exist...has been for a looong time. Only Military Personnel and their family can use it.

    Ask my Antonio..he loves to ride Da Ferry!

    Auntie Lynn
    Last edited by 1stwahine; December 25th, 2006 at 08:33 AM.
    Be AKAMAI ~ KOKUA Hawai`i!
    Philippians 4:13 --- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  7. #132

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by 1stwahine View Post
    heheheh

    Mel didn't know about either. It does exist...has been for a looong time. Only Military Personnel can use it.

    Ask my Antonio..he loves to ride Da Ferry!

    Auntie Lynn
    Well now, that sorta doesn't qualify, now does it? If the military let us build out across Pearl Harbor and Hickam, there would be no issues with traffic gridlock.

  8. #133
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    Well now, that sorta doesn't qualify, now does it? If the military let us build out across Pearl Harbor and Hickam, there would be no issues with traffic gridlock.
    Eh! I'm not against the Rail System! Anything to help ease the current situation is betta den nuttin.

    Auntie Lynn
    Be AKAMAI ~ KOKUA Hawai`i!
    Philippians 4:13 --- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  9. #134
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    I'm curious what this will do to the property values long-term on the Leeward side. You make it easier to get to town, and then those with money will come in and drive up the prices.
    And property taxes within a mile radius of wherever the rail route goes. Higher property taxes will negatively impact long time residents and small businesses along the route, due to speculation and possible development plans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    Sure, we're paying more in general excise tax.
    And that is where we all lose... paying more taxes.

    All you rail supporters won. I hope you have fun and enjoy paying those increased taxes for the next 10, 20 or 30 years.


  10. #135
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    All you rail supporters won. I hope you have fun and enjoy paying those increased taxes for the next 10, 20 or 30 years.
    You sound like a broken record... just move to the mainland already and you won't have to deal with Hawaii's taxes.

  11. #136
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Palolo Joe View Post
    You sound like a broken record... just move to the mainland already and you won't have to deal with Hawaii's taxes.
    You must be stuck in the same groove too, as this is the 2nd time you mentioned "moving".


  12. #137
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    You must be stuck in the same groove too, as this is the 2nd time you mentioned "moving".
    Actually, it's the third time in this thread. And I think it's the best advice anyone could give in response to your whining.

  13. #138
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Wow... couldn't even let up for Christmas... how sad.
    .
    .

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

  14. #139
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by LikaNui View Post
    Wow... couldn't even let up for Christmas... how sad.
    Isn't it? You would think Mel would take it easy today.

  15. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palolo Joe View Post
    Actually, it's the third time in this thread. And I think it's the best advice anyone could give in response to your whining.

    Isn't it? You would think Mel would take it easy today.
    It is real easy to attack the person with the minority viewpoint against rail by reeling on the personal attacks as you normally do, which is not new here.

    Only 7 days before the GE taxes go up. And all I am doing is stating the fact. Go ahead and celebrate that fact if you are a rail and tax supporter.

    You will get your train. You will get more taxes. I have to pay. You too. You won.

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    I don't think any pro-rail folks feel threatened.
    Of course, you already won. The only thing opponents can do is continually nit pick on this every step of the way in hope the entire thing will be (unlikely) scrapped. It will be expensive no matter what.

    I say it again. You won. Opponents lost. More money taken away from us. We pay more. You pay more. We all pay more. The beginning of a bottomless pit.

  16. #141
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    I gotta throw my .02 on this. What I find very unfair is even in-directly the neighbor islands will have to pay more in GET.But won't get anything from the proposed mass transit system on Oahu.

    Since most of all the incoming freight comes via Honolulu, I really wonder how this GET increase on Oahu is going to be applied to freight going to other islands. Or better yet something mundane like a Honolulu lawyer doing paperwork for someone in Hilo. It all adds up to a tax nightmare in my opinion.
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  17. #142
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Mel, yes, Hawaii is overtaxed, anti-business, union-dominated and generally a nightmare for those of a conservative bent. I have my own frustrations about my home. But along with high gas prices, an overinflated real estate market, a struggling public education system, and so on and so on, these are the prices we pay for our paradise, such as it is.

    You so relentlessly take the "woe is me, I'm a minority" tack, it's hard to imagine that you, too, choose to remain in Hawaii, for all the injustices heaped upon you. But obviously you do. (Otherwise, PJ has amply demonstrated there's an alternative.)

    Of all the things that our tax-and-spend, namby-pamby, liberal government spends its money on, there are far, far greater travesties to lament than a city-changing, landmark public works project like this. Do I like paying more taxes? No. Do I want, finally, a mass transit system to come to Honolulu? Yes. I've got to suck up the former to have the latter, and it's clearly a choice many people are willing to make.

    I've supported rail in Honolulu for as long as I had any idea what it was, choosing the many failed proposals and projects for school reports since small kid time. I've waited over 20 years, and will probably wait at least that long to see it actually happen. But I'm hoping it will happen, finally -- if most certainly not immediately.

    My only hope, as others have said, that with most oars finally in the water paddling toward the same horizon, lesser people don't find a new mission in trying to sabotage and sink the boat. (I'm looking at you, Djou.) There are lots of reasons to oppose rail, I concede... but the vote is taken, the course is clear, and the mission now should be to help steer things responsibly (the countdown begins now for the first of many campaign finance and other investigations related to this big build!), not claim the title of martyr and take everyone else down with you.

  18. #143
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    It is real easy to attack the person with the minority viewpoint against rail by reeling on the personal attacks as you normally do, which is not new here.

    Only 7 days before the GE taxes go up. And all I am doing is stating the fact. Go ahead and celebrate that fact if you are a rail and tax supporter.

    You will get your train. You will get more taxes. I have to pay. You too. You won.

    Of course, you already won. The only thing opponents can do is continually nit pick on this every step of the way in hope the entire thing will be (unlikely) scrapped. It will be expensive no matter what.

    I say it again. You won. Opponents lost. More money taken away from us. We pay more. You pay more. We all pay more. The beginning of a bottomless pit.
    If anyone is making a personal attack in this thread, it's you. Go ahead and take the low road Mel. You know I couldn't care less if you get your panties in a bunch.

    You continue on and on like a broken record. So again, I offer this solution to your whining:

    MOVE TO THE MAINLAND.

  19. #144

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    What's with the insistence that pro-rail folks have won? Won what? Like you said, we're gonna pay more tax. But pro-rail see this as a necessity to really address future gridlock. I too have been pro-rail many times in the past before, only to watch the nay-sayers derail the plan. Maybe if they didn't derail the 80% fed funding in previous attempts to build rail, we wouldn't have this tax today. They all say rail won't address congestion, that it will do nothing but attract unwanted development. Yet 30 years have passed and you know what, we still have a congestion problem even with all the road additions. We have so many more high rises now even though a rail does not exist. I don't feel threatened about the issue at all. If you nay-sayers derail this attempt again, I'll just merely go about my business, I'm not gonna fume and think the world is ending like the anti-rail folks are right now. But you truly indeed will be wasting taxpayer's money by playing spoiler on what's been officially voted. As pzarquon stated, don't be a lesser person and create a half-baked rail just so you can point fingers and say "I'd told ya so." That's petty and pathetic. I rather hope you channel all that energy and effort into guiding the construction and finance of this rail. Choose the right technology, choose the right route, make construction firms accountable, make politicians accountable, make the project on time and on budget. That will make the most out of the extra tax you vehemently despise. At least good will come out of it then.

    And I too don't trust Mr. Djou. I don't really trust any politician but him especially. Seeing quotes from him thinking the rail will work and then maybe not shows he's trying to ride the fence. I just hope he respects the very system he works for and accepts the vote. He should spend all his effort on keeping the rail project accountable instead of sabotage.

    Konaguy - I am not sure of how the details will work out on interisland transactions. But, as far as I understand, the increase applies to whatever is currently being taxed on Oahu anyway so I don't see how it's unfair, considering it's a tax already being levied. Maybe this will encourage more business to shift to the neighbor islands? A boon to you? Maybe a deal can be struck? When rail is built, maybe some buses can be transferred over to create your own public transportation?

  20. #145
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    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    Konaguy - I am not sure of how the details will work out on interisland transactions. But, as far as I understand, the increase applies to whatever is currently being taxed on Oahu anyway so I don't see how it's unfair, considering it's a tax already being levied. Maybe this will encourage more business to shift to the neighbor islands? A boon to you? Maybe a deal can be struck? When rail is built, maybe some buses can be transferred over to create your own public transportation?
    I have sneaking suspicion that this GET increase will be passed along (probably)in-directly to us folks living on neighbor islands. We'll certainly have to keep an eye on it. As I can see it being a tax bureaucracy nightmare.

    That being said, here is another example I buy something from a Oahu based business and I live in Kona. Do I get charged the 4.1666% GET or the 4.714% GET. I would bet that I would get assessed the higher rate. Or it would be
    a nightmare to charge two different rates depending on your location.

    Hence if the latter is the case, it is certainly unfair that we have to pay more in taxes for something that won't benefit us on the neighbor islands.
    Check out my blog on Kona issues :
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  21. #146

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    I wish we would be proactive and look at mass transit solutions for the neighbor isles NOW. Maui could sure use it, as could the Big Isle.

    pax

  22. #147

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    The issue of neighbor islanders paying for a rail transit system they'll never use is not unlike people on Oahu paying taxes that pay for roads and bridges on the neighbor islands that they'll never use. It comes with being part of a state.

    I'm not happy about paying more taxes, but if we don't get a more efficient mass-transit system, what's the true total cost of the options? Again, I'd point out that while yet another freeway might be less than a rail transit system, there are other related costs in addition to basic construction. Although those other related costs might not be incurred directly through increased taxes, you will see their effects in other ways, including the price of health insurance (the usual accident rates), auto insurance, price of parking, price of gas, etc.

    People who can't drive deserve a decent way to get to wherever they need to be. Especially if it's job-related. Again, there's the issue of cost. For someone making a bit over minimum wage and living in Waianae (where the lower-priced housing tends to be), being forced to own a car could push them toward the brink of poverty. For people like this, an efficient mass transit is an important option.

    And for various reasons, not everyone can drive. People with disabilities or other restrictions still need to get to their workplaces or classes. There are those who are sight imparied or who have other physical or mental problems that prevent them from driving -- but they're still able to contribute to our society. Stand in their shoes for a few weeks and try to see it that way, too.

    Those who staunchly oppose a good rail system need to see first-hand what it's like to get from Ewa to downtown and back on the bus during the morning and afternoon rush hour. Do it for a month. Then imagine doing that for years. I'd bet good money that not a single rail system opponent out there wouldn't end up saying "this sucks!"

    Aunty... The ferry I was thinking of ran from Campbell Industrial to downtown Honolulu as a brief experiment. I rode it a couple of times (it was free) and thought it was a neat idea, (fun and relaxing, too) but I couldn't see it as a major people-mover. It takes a considerable amount of power to get a hydroplane hull moving through the water at sufficient speed to make it "fly", and even swath hull designs aren't nearly as efficient as land vehicles. Things on wheels -- whether on tracks or on a paved surface -- don't have the same sort of fluid resistance to overcome as boats would.

  23. #148

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    At a cost of 6 billion, the rail will cost you, your wife/husband/SO, and all your children over $6000 EACH.

    That means all the people on the neighbor islands, all the people who live outside the reach of the projected rail line, and all the people who do not live or work or shop anywhere along the rail line, will each have to pay over at least $6000 for something they will not use.

    Less than 5 percent of the people of Honolulu are projected to use it. But 100 percent of the people will have to foot the bill at thousands of dollars each.

    Total insanity. Mufi and all the councilman who voted for this "fixed guideway system" are idiots.

    There are so many other things that can be done for so much less that would be so much more effective and help more people, but instead Mufi wants his glorious grandiose monument for people to remember him by.
    Last edited by mapen; December 26th, 2006 at 12:01 AM.

  24. #149

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Just imagine a family of four in Hilo, Hawaii. Their fair share of the cost of rail is over $24,000. And they would have to get on a plane and fly to Oahu just to use it.

  25. #150

    Default Re: Rail Transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
    Again, there's the issue of cost. For someone making a bit over minimum wage and living in Waianae (where the lower-priced housing tends to be), being forced to own a car could push them toward the brink of poverty. For people like this, an efficient mass transit is an important option.
    However, I think the property prices (and rents) are likely to rise in the areas serviced by rail because it's not easier to get to work. Then what?

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