Welcome to the American Revolution II

Welcome to the American Revolution II
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
"We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."Dwight D. Eisenhower

Monday, October 25, 2010

Honolulu Transit Authority vote NO

Pardon my political rant for the day…

In my opinion, the “ridership” of the train will consist primarily of politicians taking a ride to a higher office on the backs of taxpayers.

Follow the money rings clear here… Look at the funding for the pro rail candidates’ campaigns.

If this was really about reducing traffic, consider the effect and cost of encouraging businesses and employers who are able to go to 4/10 days or telecommuting… to earn tax breaks or tax credits. This could be a permanent fix with no maintenance costs.


Please vote NO on the City Charter Amendment for Transit Authority.

Here's why:

To manage a complex multi-city or multi-county transit system with multiple bus systems and rail lines.

We are one city and county. We have TheBus and one possible rail line. We have a very simple structure for our transit. The proposed Transit Authority is totally NOT needed...

... Unless you want the following "advantages":

PURPOSE OF AUTHORITY -- To circumvent procurement process including independent bond floats. IS IT GOOD FOR OAHU? -- NO

PURPOSE OF AUTHORITY -- To protect politicians from the failures and costs of rail.

PURPOSE OF AUTHORITY -- To divert taxpayer money from TheBus and TheHandivan to TheRail, IS IT GOOD FOR OAHU? -- NO

PURPOSE OF AUTHORITY -- To protect politicians from cuts to TheBus and TheHandivan. IS IT GOOD FOR OAHU? -- NO

PURPOSE OF AUTHORITY -- To provide senior City bureaucrats with higher salary positions. IS IT GOOD FOR OAHU? -- NO

HOW MUCH extra tax did the H-1, H-2 and H-3 Freeway cost Oahu taxpayers?
Zero. They used 80% to 90% federal funds and our local gas tax.

HOW MUCH of the local gas tax went to build the entire H-3 Freeway? About 500 million in today's money.

HOW MUCH of local taxes will go to pay for rail? $3 million, or SIX TIMES more than we paid locally for the H-3 Freeway.

HOW MUCH will rail cost if you believe the City's numbers? $5.4 million.

HOW MUCH will rail cost if the cost overruns of Puerto Rico's rail happen to Honolulu? $9,700 million or about FOUR H-3 Freeways. Remember Puerto Rico is the only island that built a heavy rail like ours. They too had FTA oversight and Parsons Brinkerhoff as the lead planner and engineer. So our conditions are perfect for a 100% cost overrun like San Juan, Puerto Rico.

HOW MUCH of a mistake did they make for ridership? In San Juan (which is about two million people) they forecasted 80,000 daily rides for the opening year but actual was under 25,000. For Honolulu (which is 900,000 people) they forecast 97,000 rides in the opening year :)

HOW MUCH surplus money does Honolulu have available to pay for the rail? Honolulu today is in budget deficit (it balanced past budget shortfalls by borrowing money) and faces huge liabilities with sewer and road repairs, secondary sewage treatment and the employee retirement fund. It is estimated that property taxes will need to go up 40% to finish building the rail, with no cost overruns.

If you have a minute, here is a brief blog post that explains how rotten the process is. Go Here


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