For more than 40 years, there has been debates to build a rail system in O’ahu.
- In 1967, The rail system was discussed for the first time. The O’ahu transportation study recommended a fixed guideway from Pearl City to Hawaii Kai.
- In 1970, when Frank Fasi was the Mayor at that time and he was able to start the project and received federal money for the Honolulu Area Rapid Transit (HART) project to build a rail that would connect Aloha Stadium to Kahala Mall. However, in 1980 Fasi lost the election to Eileen Anderson, which stop the rail.
- In 1992, Fasi was reelected mayor and received congressional approval for $618 million in federal funding to cover the project’s leftover costs, but the City and Council voted against the tax increase in a 5-4 vote, ending the plan.
- In 2003, The state Senate President Robert Bunda and Governor Linda Lingle proposed a light rail in West O’ahu and an elevated Nimitz “Flyover” Highway, but later dropped it because it would have required tax increase for funding. However, two later in 2005, the Legislature passed a GET surcharge, which Lingle allowed to pass into law without her signature.
- Then in 2008, FTA and voters approved the start of the rail transit project.