Elevated Rail

Elevated Rail modelIt's timely that the City is holding rail workshops around Honolulu to seek public input on station design considerations. Last night's workshop took place at the Pearl Ridge Elementary School auditorium and drew nearly 100 people. Kirk Caldwell, formerly a member of the House of Representatives and now Honolulu's Managing Director, opened up the evening with introductions and the agenda for the evening. Scott Ishikawa, formerly DOT spokesperson and now front man for the City Rail proposal took the audience through an overview of the project. What was presented was quite impressive. The key points Scott delivered for the elevated systems were:
  1. Proposals in response to the City's RFP were coming in at rates lower than expected, due in part to the competitive nature of the business and the economy.
  2. The elevated rail system will be a major boon to the construction industry.
  3. The look of the elevated rail will give Honolulu a futuristic appearance appealing not only to residence but also to tourists.
  4. The elevated system will get the ridership needed to justify it.
  5. The system will be safe and away from traffic so road congestion will not affect it.
  6. The system will be fast and estimated to take 20 minutes from Pearlridge to Ala Moana.
After the presentation the audience was divided into working groups to come up with suggestions on how the stations should be designed. There are construction  standards already set like the station canopy but ideas were being solicited for wall design, landscaping and station decor. The City will return to Pearlridge Elementary School on Oct. 15, 2009 to conduct another workshop with the ideas from last night incorporated.