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Frequently Asked Questions - Benefits

FAQs - Benefits
Is rail transit going to make a difference in traffic congestion?

Yes. Rail will eliminate an estimated 40,000 car trips from our congested streets and highways. If you know what traffic is like when UH and private schools are out for the summer, you have an idea of the difference rail will make.

How is Honolulu's rail transit going to help people?

Rail transit will provide a fast, safe, reliable alternative to driving in traffic congestion. In addition, there will be about 40,000 fewer car trips on Oahu's congested streets and freeways.

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How will rail transit enhance our economy?

Each year during construction, the rail transit project will help generate an average of 10,000 jobs. Thousands of jobs in construction, engineering, and professional services will be created as a direct result of the rail project. In addition thousands of other indirect jobs will be created by businesses that provide goods and services to the project. The direct investment of federal and local funds will boost the economy and increase demand for goods and services at local businesses, while increasing tax revenues for the City and State. Transit oriented development around rail stations will sustain the demand for jobs in a variety of industries for many years in the future.

Are there environmental advantages to rail transit?

Yes. The rail system will eliminate tens of thousands of car trips every day that would otherwise be taken on Oahu's roads. That means less auto pollution, a reduced need for new highways, and less dependence on imported oil. Rail transit will be electrically powered, and with Hawaii moving toward the goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045, the trains will get greener as the percentage of renewable energy produced increases.

Why don't we just add more buses?

Expanding the existing system to meet future public transit needs with an all-bus rapid transit system would cost more in the long run than a combination bus-rail system. Operating costs for buses are much higher than for rail. The cost of operating bus systems is rising much faster than the cost of operating rail systems.

In addition, rail transit is more efficient than buses for high-volume passenger loads. Each four-car train can carry more than 800 passengers, the equivalent of more than ten buses. Moreover, an elevated rail system operates above our congested streets and highways and will deliver passengers to their destination on time every time, while buses get caught in traffic congestion, just like cars.

How will people use rail transit?

Rail transit will be used to commute to and from work, and school; to go to shopping malls, the airport, and entertainment venues such as Aloha Stadium. (See our interactive route map for more details.)

HART Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation