formerly The Alliance for Traffic Improvement

Seeking cost effective ways to reduce traffic congestion on Oahu



November 2005


November 13, 2005

Senate provides incentives for accuracy of forecasts:

In answer to a recent question, FTA responded, "there is a provision which allows for an increase in the Federal share over that requested by the grantee [City DTS] if 1) the project costs are not more than 10 percent higher than the estimates made going into PE [Preliminary Engineering, the phase after the AA/DEIS], and 2) the ridership forecast is not less than 90 percent of the forecast going into PE." This was a requirement of recent U.S. Senate legislation.

         In addition FTA executives now stand to earn bonuses on the accuracy of grantees' forecasts. This is all very encouraging news. Our advice, "When all else fails, try money."


Where matters stand:

Currently we are waiting for the City’s initial scoping meetings, which will take place in mid-December at the times and places described below. The city at this time will layout the alternatives they are going to examine in order to narrow the field down to the very few they will examine more carefully during the Alternatives Analysis. The Alternatives Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (AA/DEIS) is due at the end of next year. It is unlikely to be forthcoming prior to the election.

         Towards the end of this month we will get some initial information from the City via mail and their new website www.honolulutransit.org , which is presently alive but with little on it.

         Supporters can use the time encouraging people and organizations to join our coalition and also educating the voters about this issue.

This is the latest from the City:

         "Mayor Hannemann invites all of the citizens of Honolulu to attend one of several meetings to be held in December to comment on the alternatives being analyzed and the analysis process. Meetings will be held:

          December 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Blaisdell Center

          December 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Kapolei Middle School

         Those requiring special accommodation at the December meetings should call 566-2228. Those unable to attend the meetings will be able to provide input through the project website (www.honolulutransit.org) or by writing to the Department of Transportation Services.

         Before these meetings, the City will announce through a newsletter, newspaper notices, the project information telephone line (566-2299), and the project website (www.honolulutransit.org) which alternatives are proposed for further study in the Alternatives Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (AA/DEIS). The AA/DEIS is one in a series of studies that are required for the City to receive federal construction funds. The purpose of the AA/DEIS is to provide all of the information needed for the citizens of Honolulu, Mayor, and City Council to select a preferred alternative for the project.

         The City will review all the input received and quickly move on to the detailed studies on the alternatives in the AA/DEIS. Over the next year, the City will work closely with state and federal agencies to identify the benefits and impacts of each alternative. Project information will be presented to and ideas will be accepted from the public on an ongoing basis. Mayor Hannemann is in the process of appointing a leadership committee that will provide an additional communication link between the community and the project team.

         The City plans to issue the Alternatives Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement towards the end of 2006. At that time, the public will be asked to officially comment on the various alternatives. The Mayor and City Council will consider all public comments on the AA/DEIS prior to selecting a locally preferred alternative for the project."


November 13, 2005

New York and San Francisco to study pricing:

The re-election of London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, on the promise to expand congestion pricing in London has sparked politicians around the world to emulate his success. Read about two U.S. cities:

San Francisco Examiner. November 11, 2005. City searches for traffic innovations.

New York Times. November 11, 2005. Driving Around Manhattan, You Pay.


November 3, 2005

Telecommuting outstripping public transportation:

Out of the 50 nation's largest metro areas, 27 of them, including rail cities Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego, now have more "commuters" getting to work online than those getting to work on public transportation. Note the change, 1980-2000, in the various methods commuters use to get to work. Guess which one is getting encouraged and which is ignored by the authorities? You can read more in Bob Poole and Ted Balaker's study: READ MORE



News of the study comes from Reason Foundation's Director of Transportation Studies, Robert Poole, who has a regular free newsletter. In his latest newsletter he quotes U.S. Rep. Mike Krusee:
        At the ARTBA Public-Private Ventures conference in Washington last month, the most inspiring presentation I heard was by Rep. Mike Krusee, the Texas legislature who sponsored the sweeping 2003 legislation to enable much greater use of tolling in that state. Here is an excerpt, on the subject of traffic congestion.
“Americans do not tolerate shortages. Breadlines are for communist countries. Breadlines in the Soviet Union were caused by the absence of a market mechanism to match supply with demand. The genius of the free-market American system is that for everything we produce, public or private, demand is anticipated, and capital is raised to build the infrastructure to meet the demand. In the USSR, you could not raise capital. But here, we calculate how much people will pay and how many they will buy. Whether it is widgets or computer chips or water or electricity or college tuition. We borrow against that anticipated revenue and build our factories, our water treatment plants, our pipelines, our universities.
       “That is why America never has permanent shortages. Oh, except in one thing: transportation. And until we make the shift to a free-market mechanism of finance – tolls – we will continue to have shortages, in the form of congestion. Many Americans think congestion is inevitable; it is not. It is a breadline, it is un-American, and we should not tolerate it.”