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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: May 5, 2010 at 11:43 p.m.
Honolulu rail project facing pressure to protect native burials
Before starting to build its $5.3 billion commuter rail project, the city must survey the train's route through Kaka'ako to make sure it won't interfere with burials or other cultural resources, a panel charged with protecting Native Hawaiian burials said.
Posted on: May 4, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.
FAA approves of Hawaii rail transit route change to protect airspace
A plan to shift the route of Honolulu's proposed elevated commuter rail project to avoid Honolulu International Airport airspace has found favor with the Federal Aviation Administration, the city said yesterday.

The transit-oriented development plan for East Kapolei calls for a multi-use trail below an elevated rail line.

Posted on: April 6, 2010 at 9:23 p.m.
Town hall meeting to discuss impact of rail on economy
Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is urging the public to attend a town hall meeting tonight at Farrington High School where officials will brief the public on efforts to promote economic development along the city's proposed rail line.

Brennon Morioka

Posted on: March 26, 2010 at 11:58 p.m.
Honolulu rail planners knew of airport issues in 2006, state says Video
The city's proposed rail transit project needs to be conducted with "a higher level of transparency," the state Department of Transportation said yesterday as it made public all its correspondence on the issue.
Posted on: March 25, 2010 at 11:18 p.m.
Honolulu rail project will have to pick up tab for airport route fix
The city, not the state, will have to pay to resolve the issue of a planned commuter rail line running too close to the Honolulu International Airport, according to a Nov. 3 letter from the state Department of Transportation.


CONTINUING COVERAGE

Honolulu rail project will have to pick up tab for airport route fix (Mar 25, 2010)
The city, not the state, will have to pay to resolve the issue of a planned commuter rail line running too close to the Honolulu International Airport, according to a Nov. 3 letter from the state Department of Transportation.
Honolulu rail financing will get extra scrutiny by governor (Mar 24, 2010)
Gov. Linda Lingle set in motion yesterday the process to review the city's financial plan for constructing a $5.3 billion elevated commuter rail line, which could further delay the start of the project.
Honolulu officials knew year ago that rail route too close to airport (Mar 20, 2010)
HONOLULU — City officials were warned as early as January 2009 of the need to formally notify the Federal Aviation Administration that a planned commuter rail line could run too close to the Honolulu International Airport. Construction of the $5.3 billion rail system was supposed to begin last December but is being delayed in part because the route may be too close to an airport runway and might endanger the operation of aircraft.

Honolulu rail route too close to runways, may have to shift (Mar 17, 2010)
The city's planned route for a new $5.3 billion rail system runs too close to runways at Honolulu International Airport, and that has become a major sticking point holding up the project.
Only one company bid to manage Hawaii rail project (Mar 16, 2010)
A $36.7 million contract for Honolulu's planned train project failed to garner any competition. Under the five-year deal, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based InfraConsult LLC will provide project management oversight on the $5.3 billion project — a role the company has played since March 2007.

Some are saying that the number of jobs that Mayor Mufi Hannemann has said will be generated due to the rail project is less when newer calculations are used.

Hawaii rail project may not create as many jobs as city predicts (Mar 15, 2010)
Thousands of people will get jobs working on Honolulu's planned $5.3 billion rail project if construction proceeds as planned. However, how many jobs will be created by the state's largest public works project and when they'll be created remain guesswork.

Gov. Linda Lingle

Lingle rejects poll favoring rail EIS (Mar 11, 2010)
Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday dismissed the findings of a People's Pulse survey indicating that more than two-thirds of residents oppose conducting another rail-transit study, calling the question used in the survey "poorly worded and misleading" and questioning the credibility of the survey's sponsors.
67% back results of Isle rail study (Mar 10, 2010)
More than two-thirds of people surveyed support making a decision on whether to build rail based on an existing environmental study, according to a poll released yesterday.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann

City's sights on Kapolei (Mar 01, 2010)
The city would get 34 acres of prime land in Kapolei in exchange for building a key, milelong section of Kapolei Parkway that has been the responsibility of Kapolei Property Development.
Lingle, transportation secretary discuss rail plans (Feb 22, 2010)
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, in Washington for the National Governors Association's annual winter meeting, told Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood that her administration plans to conduct a separate financial analysis of Honolulu's plans for a rail system.
Proposed Honolulu rail hubs haven't drawn investor interest (Feb 21, 2010)
Investors appear to be in no rush to buy up land around Honolulu's planned $5.3 billion train. The city expects the train and its projected 97,000 average weekday riders to spur billions of dollars of investment as 21 stations from East Kapolei to Ala Moana become hubs for housing, business and employment. That in turn could spur land values and real estate development.
Honolulu rail-transit schedule slips again (Feb 21, 2010)
Hope that recent delays in the timeline of the city's proposed rail project would quickly be resolved are giving way to the realization that construction probably won't begin anytime soon.
Transit tax down 14% in Jan. (Feb 17, 2010)
Tax collections to pay for Honolulu's planned $5.3 billion rail transit system fell 14 percent in January to $11 million, based on figures released by the state Department of Taxation.

TheBus ridership is down about 2 percent since July. Nationally, bus ridership fell almost 8 percent.

Cheaper gas, fewer jobs reduce Hawaii's public transit ridership (Feb 15, 2010)
Rising unemployment and gasoline prices below $4 a gallon are taking a toll on public transit ridership in Honolulu and nationally. From July to September, bus and heavy-rail ridership nationwide fell nearly 8 percent and 4 percent respectively, according to the American Public Transit Association. In Honolulu, the number of riders on TheBus was down about 2 percent since July, according to the agency that operates the system.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann said rail is the state's only major

Lingle urged to sign off on rail (Feb 11, 2010) Photo gallery Video
Mayor Mufi Hannemann and a majority of state representatives yesterday pressured Gov. Linda Lingle to expeditiously review and approve the environmental impact statement for the city's planned $5.3 billion rail transit project.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann displayed a poster at his news conference yesterday highlighting a quote from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Honolulu rail plan gets $55M in Federal Transit Authority budget (Feb 03, 2010)
The Federal Transit Administration gave Honolulu a $55 million vote of confidence yesterday in the city's planned commuter rail line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana. The support helps build momentum for the rail project just days after Gov. Linda Lingle raised concerns about whether the city could afford the estimated $5.35 billion price tag.

Honolulu rail would be safer at ground level, AIA contends (Jan 31, 2010)
Whether they run on an elevated guideway or on city streets, trains are by far a safer way to travel than automobiles.
Mayor cites cost of rail delay (Jan 27, 2010)
Delaying Honolulu's planned elevated commuter rail project could cost the city an additional $200 million a year, Mayor Mufi Hannemann said yesterday.
Funding rail won't hurt buses (Jan 21, 2010)
Mayor Mufi Hannemann told federal transportation officials in Washington, D.C., this week that the city's planned commuter rail project will not compromise bus service in Honolulu.

An overflow crowd outside the Capitol auditorium watches a presentation on rail transit by local architects.

Hawaii architects urge more discussion of Honolulu rail options (Jan 19, 2010) Photo gallery Video
Reconsidering a street-level alternative for Honolulu's planned elevated commuter rail line would only delay the start of the project by six months, the American Institute of Architects' Hawai'i chapter said yesterday.

Gov. Linda Lingle

City pushes to keep its elevated-rail plan (Jan 18, 2010)
A day before a group of architects is supposed to push for alternatives to Honolulu's fully elevated rail plan, the city brought together its own transportation experts to counter that push, arguing an elevated line should move ahead as planned.
Hawaii will probably hold public hearings on Honolulu rail transit (Jan 04, 2010)
Supporters, opponents and others with something to say about Honolulu's plan to build a $5.5 billion elevated rail will have a new forum to voice their opinions soon. The state is expected to hold public hearings on the environmental impacts of Honolulu's planned rail project.
Honolulu rail behind schedule, with construction start unclear (Jan 03, 2010)
Construction of Honolulu's planned $5.5 billion elevated train was to have begun in 2009. It didn't. Now the city has to sort out whether this is a minor setback or a sign that the state's biggest public works project may be in trouble.

"We're in the homestretch now," said Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who was surrounded by staff yesterday as he spoke about Honolulu's proposed rail transit project.

Federal approval keeps rail on track (Oct 13, 2009)
Honolulu's proposed $5.5 billion elevated commuter train project won a key endorsement from the federal government yesterday. The Federal Transit Administration gave the city approval to begin the preliminary engineering phase of the project.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann held a news conference yesterday in which he, trade union leaders and the contractor for the first phase of the city's $5.5 billion rail project signed an agreement that calls for construction to continue until completion without labor stoppages.

Rail gets no-strike promise (Nov 18, 2009) Photo gallery Video
Contractors working on Honolulu's planned $5.5 billion train project will be required to provide workers with union-type benefits, under an agreement announced yesterday by Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
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HAWAI'I POLL

A four-part special report from the Honolulu Advertiser and KGMB9 News
76% of O'ahu voters want rail on ballot
More than three-quarters of the poll's respondents said the electorate should get to decide the issue, and nearly two-thirds said they will cast their ballot in favor of rail.
Most in Honolulu say they won't use rail regularly, poll shows
While 23% of those surveyed living near route say they're very likely to take the train, most people say they don't expect to ride it frequently.
Rail ads reaching much of the public
Many have see or heard rail-related ads, but the poll shows there's a split over city funding of the pro-train campaign.
Honolulu mayor gets 80% approval rating in poll
Mayor Mufi Hannemann earns high marks despite a split over his handling of the rail issue.

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