Build or No Build?—Debates on Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Project

In view of the greater attention being paid today to such problems as pollution, the traffic congestion that contributes mightily to it, and the ever-increasing cost of gasoline, a recent planning process in Honolulu offers a timely look at how the decisions regarding a new mass transit system were made and why. Honolulu’s linear city layout, mountainous topography, and high density land-use make ideal for a grade-separated transit system. Multiple efforts to plan a high-capacity mass transit system for Honolulu have occurred over the past several decades, and have been aborted at least three times since the 1970s. Through these floundered processes, it was learned that building a fixed guideway transit system takes more than sophisticated planning and engineering; it takes political will, public support, and a dedicated, predictable source of funding as well. This paper explains the most recent planning process for a new mass-transit system in Honolulu. It summarizes the debating points persistent since the beginning of the previous planning efforts. It was through these healthy debates that a broad consensus was reached on exactly what alternatives best met locally defined goals and objectives for the specified corridor.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 21-26
  • Monograph Title: Transportation and Development Innovative Best Practices 2008: Proceedings of the First International Symposium

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01105459
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784409619
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2008 6:31PM