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Our local mainstream media refuses to cover the topic of how bus technology beats rail on all fronts - and it appears to be the same situation in the arena of our local government.

The most egregious omission by the local press and local government is how President Obama worked with Congress to offer us the choice of putting buses on a fixed guideway instead of rail.

Read a short synopsis of the proposal for buses being offered to our city by the federal government - click here.

I have compiled a few stories on all-electric buses for you here:

Electric Bus Photo

Article Photo

Article Photo

Article Photo

Article Photo

Article Photo

Property acquisition along the 20-mile fixed guideway to cater to steel wheels on steel rails entails 21 rail stations which requires an enormous amount of land. If it were buses instead of rail being deployed on the fixed guideway, the need for elevated stations would be obsolete, and on/off ramps at a few key locations would cost much less and provide front door service. No need to stop 21 times means you get to your destination faster.

Pillars - the support columns would be six-feet in diameter for buses, instead of the eight-feet needed to build rail. Hence, a fixed guideway for buses is smaller, uses less concrete, and the federal government subsidizes highway technology by 80%, as opposed to rail at 20%.

To go with all-electric buses on the fixed guideway would be less expensive, better for the environment, be more energy efficient, increase the carrying capacity, and would serve us in times of emergencies.

I have many questions regarding why property acquisition for the rail has gone from an estimate of $90 million just last year to almost three times that amount thus far. If iwi are in the path of phase four in the Kakaako area, will we be buying twice the amount of properties - one now, and after the archaeological inventory survey is completed in early 2013, have to buy more if the route has to be moved? What about the lawsuit? Is there a Plan "B?"

None of the properties are in litigation that have been brokered so far . . . why then, has the cost for property acquisition skyrocketed? Could it be because HART hired a company from California to do the job? How many hands or levels of personnel does it take to purchase a piece of land? The price of the property did not go up . . . so what gives?


Councilman Tom Berg | Honolulu Hale | 530 S. King Street Room 202 | Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
TEL: (808) 768-5001 | WEB: www.councilmanberg.com | E-MAIL: tberg@honolulu.gov

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