Honolulu Approves Light Rail System

Voters in Honolulu have approved a 20-mile light rail system for the Hawaiian city -- the largest public works project in the state's history.
November 5, 2008, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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"The rail system's cost is estimated to be $3.9 million in 2008 dollars, but it is expected to be closer to $5 billion after adjusting for inflation during the life of the 20-mile project. City officials expect to cover the costs with $1.2 billion in federal funding and a 0.5 percent surcharge to the general excise tax that would bring in $4.1 billion through 2022."

"Rail supporters contended the transit system would be the best way to ease traffic, which is expected to increase with new homes planned for Central Oahu and the Ewa Plain. Opponents argued the system is too costly to build and maintain, too ugly, too noisy and not the best alternative to relieve traffic congestion."

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Published on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 in Honolulu Star-Bulletin
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