Ridership of the Oahu Rail System: An Expert's Perspective

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the daily average of passengers on the Oahu rail system, known as Skyline, is currently between 3,000 and 4,000. This is a positive indication that the system is reliable, with 98.5% of trains arriving as scheduled. However, data from the Honolulu Rapid Transit Authority (HART) shows that the city's plan to shorten the Honolulu line by more than a mile and stop construction at the civic center would reduce ridership by nearly 30% compared to projections from a decade ago.Hawaii has long been a car-dependent state with limited public transportation options, and tourists are unlikely to make use of the new light rail system. The city's recovery plan released on Friday night acknowledges that “HART's plan is still to build the rail system to the Ala Moana transit center, but it recognizes that the city must reduce costs in some way or find additional funding to achieve that goal.” A local nonprofit organization has analyzed the numbers and concluded that this is the most expensive rail system in the country per passenger.From its debut on June 30 to July 4, 71,722 passengers traveled on Skyline, including 18,108 on Independence Day.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi has stated that there is not enough money to reach downtown Ala Moana and proposed postponing construction of two train stations and the east end of the elevated line. When paid travel began, ridership on Honolulu's new rail transportation system dropped significantly, according to Hawaii News Now.The Oahu rail system is an ambitious project that has been met with both enthusiasm and criticism. While it has seen some success in its early stages, it remains to be seen whether it will be able to meet its goals for ridership and cost-effectiveness.

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