HONOLULU (KHON2) — At the end of the month, Honolulu’s rail will welcome its first riders.
But this morning, KHON2 got a sneak peek and was invited into one of the stations for an up-close look.

Twenty nine days to go, and everything is still on track for Honolulu’s rail opening.

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“All that’s outstanding is the engineer needs to write me a letter stating that everything is safe. That ties into safety certification,” said Lori Kahikina, HART ED. “Myself or HART, DTS, HDOT, they all need to sign off that everything has been tested.”

That’s more than 24,000 elements that will have been tested. This morning, KHON2 went inside the Pearlridge station in Aiea.

Once you arrive at the station, you can buy a HOLO card here or you can reload the one you already have, go ahead and tap it, doors open, and then you’re in.

Riders will notice original artwork on the walls, like the glass tile mosaic, depicting some of the original plant life in the area.

Each station will feature unique creations that tell a story. People can board the train on the third level. A train will arrive every 10 minutes, and doors will remain open for 20 seconds.

So, what has been the biggest challenge and how did you remedy it?

“There’s been, of course, technical challenges,” explained Kahikina. “We’ve been very open and honest about the hammerheads, the wheel rail interface; but to me, it really was public perception.”

On June 9, the city will take over this first segment from Kapolei to Halawa.

“But we still need to finish segment two which is to middle street and segment three is to Kakaako; so, we’ll still be around segment two should open in 2025; segment three will be 2030-2031 time,” said Kahikina.

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“I know it’s been painful all these years but we’re here now, embrace it, ride it and see what it’s like,” concluded Kahikina.

Riders will get to do that on June 30.