HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Transportation Services submitted its rail operations safety plan to the city council.
The plan details potential operating hours for the rail with the first portion from east Kapolei to Aloha Stadium running from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
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But some Oahu residents are wondering why only it will only be open until 7 p.m.
“I think it’s a waste of money honestly for all these years of waiting,” said Edward Naki, Waimanalo resident. “For example, I came from the mainland and they run 24/7. So I don’t see why we can’t do it here.”
Others are understanding and are just looking forward to riding the rail.
“I think it’s too short but I guess whoever running it they don’t have enough money. I figure to run 24 hours must be expensive so I’m trying to see both sides,” said Rene Foronda, Kalihi resident.
According to DTS, it examined pre-COVID ridership on city bus routes that are parallel to the rail line. It found that bus ridership outside of the 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. time period was much less.
DTS said it established the current proposed schedule with trains operating every 10 minutes.
However, some Honolulu City Councilmembers want to see those hours extended.
“Keeping it operational into the evening is going to be a little more expensive on the operations side, but the flip side of that is if we’re not operating rail that means we’re going to have express buses and that may actually be more expensive,” said Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, Honolulu City Councilmember.
According to the DTS proposal, it’s looking at welcoming passengers under full operations on March 31, 2031. It stated that at that point, the hours of operations will be from 4 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, running every 10 minutes and running every six minutes during peak hours.
“I’m just hoping for the best and hopefully we can find some kind of middle ground where everyone can be happy,” Foronda said.
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There will be a city council transportation committee hearing on rail operations on April 4.