Posted by: loomisisc | January 20, 2010

The West Side Represents Need For Rail at Gov.’s Meeting

“She [Gov. Lingle] chose a small room thinking nobody cares,” said Kapolei resident and president of Go Rail Go, Maeda Timson. The auditorium was packed over capacity.

“The voters voted. We want this system. Let’s get it on, we need the jobs,” said Mel Kahele, Iron Workers Local 625 Union, from a Hawaii News Now report. However, what the television station chose not to add, were the several preceding minutes of Kahele’s comments that exemplified roadway life on Oahu’s West side. A resident of Makakilo for over three decades, Kahele repeatedly expressed his frustration in commuting 2 and a half hours to work everyday.

Another lifelong resident of Kapolei expressed his concern over the plans for the future Ko Olina Disney resort. “After their flight, nobody is going to want to wait in traffic for two hours just to get to their hotel,” he said.”I cannot afford to get my daughter one car for her 16th birthday, but I’d like to get her one rail pass,” he continued.

Unemployed construction worker, Juan Perallta said, “People on the West side ride the bus more than anywhere else.”

“Do you know how long it takes to get to town?” Perallta asked the panel. “How many of you have ridden it from the West side?” Of the six panelists, only consultant Philip Craig had several months ago. Gov. Lingle has not ridden the bus from the West side, she did however, say that she take a helicopter over the proposed rail route just a few days before the forum.

The rail debate is quickly elevating to a political platform according to local news reports. Though the root of the story still lies in the lives of those who are searching for work, frustrated with traffic, fuel costs, and living on the West side. Rail mass transit is desperately needed by the citizens of Oahu, and at whatever political cost, delays in groundbreaking cannot be afforded.


  1. […] of a picture gallery browser for the site and came across a couple nice photos from the governor’s rail meeting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Laborers were out in full force and their trucks circled the […]

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