In 2005 Honolulu was approved funding for the Honolulu Rail System, ever since that decision there has been a large amount of controversy surrounding the Honolulu Rail System and although some residents may say it is a bad idea, I believe that the rail system may provide many benefits to the residents and tourist to Hawaii. The route for the rail system will start in East Kapolei and end in the Ala Moana Center, running twenty miles with twenty one stops, taking approximately forty two minutes to ride from the beginning to the end.
The benefits to the Honolulu Rail System are that the rail will reduce traffic congestion, enhance the economy, and have many of environmental and health advantages. According to “Forbes” (2012), “While it ranks as the 53rd most populous city in the U. S. , Honolulu tops the INRIX rankings as having the nation’s most congested traffic corridors,” (para. 3). Traffic on Oahu is a serious problem and will only get worse. Many people may disagree with the Rail System but no one is able to provide an answer to improve the traffic congestion.
The rail system is the most sensible way to reduce most of the traffic congestion and make transit times shorter by taking thousands of cars off the roads. Every year that goes by, more and more cars will be on the freeways, the rail system can alleviate not just the number of cars but the number of wrecks and fatalities. “By the year 2030, 116,300 trips per workday will be expected to run; this should take up to 40,000 cars off the road per workday. ” (“Honolulu Elevated Train Update”, 2012).
Not only will The Rail System reduce the number of cars on the freeway but it will increase the number of parking spaces and condense street congestion on the island of Oahu. Living in Hawaii, I have realized that the job market is slim. The rail construction project should provide as many as 10,000 jobs in construction, engineering, and many other jobs fields during the nine years it will take to complete. As a benefit more jobs on the island means the residents have more money in their pocket to spend and will raise the economy.
According to “Honolulu Rail Transit” (n. . ), “Transit-oriented development will take place around rail stations, which has the potential to infuse our economy with billions of dollars during the coming decade. ” Not only will the Rail System produce more jobs, but it will also produce a need for more goods and service from local vendors and businesses. “Using public transportation on Oahu will allow each family to save roughly $935 per month in transportation costs. That’s over $11,000 dollars each family will have to save/spend each year. ” (“Honolulu Rail For Growth”, n. d. ).
With transportation cost down, the money saved can be put in the economy and businesses can begin to thrive. Whenever large construction takes place environmental groups are usually waiting to give an argument on the impact the construction will have on our environment, but with all of the benefits not only to nature but to us as residents on Oahu it is hard to produce a valid argument. The Honolulu Rail System will run on electricity and will reduce carbon monoxide emission drastically. With the number of cars on the island of Oahu the pollution is at an all-time high and will only continue to increase as years go on.
The rail system will reduce smog and give residents better air quality, which will provide better lung function. Not only can reducing carbon monoxide provide better air quality but may counteract global warming, reduce water contamination, and reduce energy consumption. “Rail transit will be electrically powered. And with Hawaii moving to 70% renewable energy by 2030, that means the trains will get greener every year”, (“Honolulu Rail Transit”, 2012). There are many benefits for the residents of Oahu because of The Honolulu Rail System.
As a resident I can look at the benefits and see a brighter future for the island and the people that live on the island. Reducing traffic congestion, enhancing the economy, and the many environmental and health advantages are just a few benefits created by The Honolulu Rail System. This is a controversy that may not ever end but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, everyone will benefit from cleaner air, better traffic conditions, and more money in their pocket, so let’s move to a better future for the island of Oahu and support The Honolulu Rail System.