HONOLULU (KHON2) — Excitement is building for the grand opening of the Honolulu rail; it’s just 22 days out. KHON.com was lucky enough to go on a roundtrip ride of the first phase this afternoon and spoke to people eager to hop on board.
It’s almost here. The grand opening of the Honolulu rail kicks off June 30 with the first segment of the project, and people are eager to hop on board.
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Waipahu resident Alexa Arcega said she definitely wants to check it out.
“I’m excited like how the time of the travel, instead of riding the bus,” Arcega said. “So, me and my mom were thinking of trying it.”
Darean Vaisaya Apuna, 11, said he usually catches TheBus to school.
“I’m looking forward to it ’cause when I ride TheBus, sometimes, it would be like really slow; and I would be late, sometimes,” he explained. “Yeah, I’m really excited for the rail.”
The 11-mile, first phase of the project carries riders through nine stations from East Kapolei, or the Kualaka’i Station, to the Aloha Stadium, Halawa Station in just approximately 20 minutes.
While speed and bypassing traffic on the highway are the main reasons the rail was built, one of the bonuses to riding the elevated rail is the view, something Honolulu City Councilmember Radiant Cordero, who represents Aiea, Pearlridge and Salt Lake, said many of her constituents are eager to see for themselves.
“People want to see the view from up there,” Coredero said. “They’re seeing some clips here and there; but I hear that the view is good. And a lot of people have heard about it, too.”
The view does not disappoint. Riders get a chance to see some of the beautiful farm land and lush greenery in a way they never could before.
The ride itself is fairly smooth, but the train travels at around 30 to 55 mph; so, people should hold on if you’re standing to make sure they don’t fall.
Another concern, according to Cordero, is safety.
“I want people to feel safe at all times when they’re going to and from the rail stations,” she explained.
And she said they also need to feel safe while they’re onboard.
The trains have video cameras throughout that are constantly monitored. If anything happens, a rider needs assistance, while the rail is in motion. There are emergency call buttons on the train near the doors to speak to security.
There was only one thing missing from the rail — bathrooms.
KHON.com was told there are no bathrooms on the rail or in any of the nine stations.
So, riders should make sure to go before they hop on board.
Riders do need a Holo Card to ride the rail; and they are encouraged to purchase that ahead of time to avoid any wait at the station.
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Once full service begins on July 1. Hours of operation will be from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends and holidays.