S.R. NO.



S.D. 1













     WHEREAS, in the last fifteen years, the United States has developed twenty-five percent of all its land which has contributed to urban sprawl and metropolitan areas with concentrated populations of poverty; and


     WHEREAS, far from the city core, forests are being cleared for big box retailers, high speed roadways, and low density subdivisions for long-distance commuters; and


     WHEREAS, Americans spend more time at work and commuting than the previous generation with the average American working 1,821 hours a year, almost more than any other developed country; and


     WHEREAS, many zoning laws and development practices lead to sprawling development areas, and some communities are slowly becoming less diverse with less meaningful interaction between neighbors; and


     WHEREAS, suburban renewal with walkable and dense communities have greater economic output and higher incomes, higher levels of human capital, higher membership in the creative class, and higher levels of patented innovations and of high-tech industries and employees; and


     WHEREAS, there is a movement toward retrofitting our suburbs to make them more vibrant and livable and to create the density required for innovation and productivity growth, which may improve troubled areas and provide future generations with a more resilient and productive setting; and


     WHEREAS, the density of a place refers to the quantity of people, households, or employment distributed over a unit of area; and


     WHEREAS, higher density is associated with shorter trips, an increased number of trips taken from home, an increase in transportation options, and reduced vehicle ownership compared to lower density, making density one of the most commonly used measures in planning; and


     WHEREAS, rail transit will provide people living and working from West Oahu to Ala Moana Center with a fast, reliable alternative to driving in traffic congestion; and


     WHEREAS, with the ability to carry more than 400 passengers, which is the equivalent of more than six buses, rail transit is more economical and efficient than buses for heavy-volume passenger loads; and


     WHEREAS, by 2030 there will be an estimated additional 40,000 car trips per day on Honolulu's highways and surface streets, which rail transit will alleviate, and rail transit is also expected to reduce delay due to congestion by eighteen percent; and


     WHEREAS, thirty-five percent of construction for rail transit is being paid for with funds from the Federal Transit Administration; twenty-three percent is being paid by tourists visiting Oahu as part of the existing one-half percent general excise tax surcharge; and forty-two percent is being paid by Oahu residents and businesses through the general excise tax surcharge; and


     WHEREAS, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation ("HART") was established as a semi-autonomous public transit authority, approved by voters in 2010, and is responsible for planning, construction, operation, maintenance, and expansion of the City and County of Honolulu fixed guideway system; and


     WHEREAS, HART determines that thirty-five percent of Oahu's population lives in areas of low-income districts expected to benefit significantly from low commuting costs that will increase transit ridership by twenty percent; and


     WHEREAS, development and redevelopment should be focused along public transit corridors to optimize public transit ridership, and HART should coordinate with stakeholders on ridership goals; and


     WHEREAS, much information exists regarding the building and planning of the construction, location, and financing of the rail transit system; however, a very limited amount of information exists regarding the sustainability of the project beyond its completion; and


     WHEREAS, information on the number of riders per day required to make the project cost-effective and revenue-generating is needed to ensure the proper planning and financing of the project; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is urged to determine cost-effective and revenue-generating ridership levels for the rail transit system; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation submit a report of its findings to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2013; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, and Chairperson of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

Report Title: 

HART; Ridership Levels Data