ATI The Alliance for Traffic Improvement

Seeking cost effective ways to reduce traffic congestion on Oahu



March 11, 2005

Rail is being "justified" on the pretext of serving the transportation needs of senior citizens in our community. The very suggestion that rail is a viable option for seniors indicates that government bureaucrats have no clue about the real needs of seniors.

On the contrary, as seniors become more frail, unstable and disoriented, they require the safety, security and convenience of personalized door-to-door transportation.  Many of the elderly are afflicted with hearing and sight disabilities that make them very vulnerable to accidents.  Walking is slow and sometimes painful.  Crossing streets is especially  hazardous as "Walk" lights turn off too quickly, stopping pedestrians midway before reaching the other side of the street.  Walking to and waiting at bus stops especially during rainy and night times pose immediate dangers to their health and safety.  A standing bus ride is not only exhausting but hazardous as buses make sudden stops and wobble at times, causing bone-breaking falls.  Riding TheBus, Handi-Van or rail transit are not viable options.  Rail stations are few and far apart, much less accessible than buses and vans in hill and valley neighborhoods.  

Many seniors actually forego doctor visits because they dread the long waits and out of the way rides. Seniors resent having to make reservations two days in advance of their Handi-Van trips, and spending 4-5 hours in round-trip travel time, not counting the time waiting for the doctor's appointment and for their prescription at the pharmacy.

Seniors need prefer the privacy and spaciousness of automobiles.  Their delibitating health and fitness call for special assistance and attention.  For their automobile-driving caregivers, traffic congestion relief can lessen the time, inconvenience and hassles to take seniors to doctors, hospitals, church, and stores.

Dale Evans