Brian Taylor is a professor at the University of California Los Angeles has a PhD in Urban Planning from UCLA, a MS in Civil Engineering from UC Berkley and a BA in Geography from UCLA. He was a planner with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in San Francisco Bay before joining the faculty at UCLA. Needless to say he has some experience when it comes to urban transportation. He sides with the Bus Rapid Transit over the Honolulu rail transit system for several reasons.
The firs reason when it comes to the bare essentials is the amount of ridership the rail is expected to draw. In an interview with KITV4 news Taylor says “while the overall number of projected riders appears impressive, it is not nearly enough to offset the tremendous capital cost needed to build the system, as well as the additional expenditures required to operate and maintain it.” His studies also show that the less steps it takes to get to the transportation whether it be the rail system or the BRT, people are more likely to go with the transportation with easier access.
Therefore rail transit systems are needed in areas with huge populations that can use the rail systems as major mode of transportation. These places include cities like Tokyo, New York City and London where they get the amount of ridership to cover the overhead cost of their rail systems. In Honolulu’s case it is hard to justify building a 5.3 billion dollar rail that only covers twenty miles of fixed track over a bus rapid transit system that covers a multitude of routes for a lesser price.
Panos Prevedouros is a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa specializing in transportation engineering, traffic analysis and simulation, demand forecasting and intelligent transportation systems. He has long been an opponent against the rail transit system. Although he makes many good arguments against the rail transit system, he does touch on the negative effects towards The Bus that will happen once the rail is built. He says “the rail will dismantle the No.1 system in the nation.” The Bus routes that will be discontinued are “B, C, E, 3, 9, 11, 20, 43, 53, 73, 81, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98A, 101, 102, 103, 201, 202.”