HONOLULU (KHON2) — The grand opening of Honolulu’s rail system is quickly approaching, and HART officials said the train rides have passed trial runs.
Part of the testing is making sure trains arrive on time and without technical issues.
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KHON2 News had more questions about how the rail will keep its success rate once the public begins riding it.
The HART Executive Director Lori Kahikina said the rail met its 98.5% success rate during its first 35 days of trial runs.
“The trains need to come into the station, and the platform gates and the train gates center need to line up almost perfectly, if it’s off by a couple of inches you don’t pass,” Kahikina said. “Or if the train needs to show up at exactly 10 o’clock and they are a few seconds late, they don’t pass.”
HART also bumped into some unexpected issues during the first phase of the system’s safety certification.
Kahikina said, “Everything seemed fine what we noticed once we went into trial running the communications couldn’t go to multiple stations and trains at one time.”
Which would be an issue if an emergency message needed to go out to all trains and stations at the same time. A new software had to be installed.
The rail’s 98.5% service availability will increase to 99.5% once the rail starts running with passengers. Kahikina said that is a high bar to meet.
Kahikina said, “I think that 99.5% is going to be hard to reach, especially like I said the human interaction with the public, that’s going to have an effect on Hitachi’s performance.”
Under the operating and maintenance contract between the City and Hitachi, it said monthly payments for operating could be reduced from the full amount if the availability level dips below the 99.5% service rate.
And as the rail begins service in several weeks, questions about if and when people would be allowed to carry luggage on public transit remain.
Honolulu City Councilmember Tyler Dos Santos-Tam said, “That’s something that we can look at, the problem with the bus is that’s much more narrow than the rail car, the rail car has a big wide aisle, so it’s less of a problem if there’s big luggage.”
Honolulu’s public transit system will be free during the rail’s opening on the Fourth of July weekend.