If you listen to City Transportation Director Wayne Yoshioka, the city “doesn’t have the money” – about $2.5 million – to reverse unpopular service cuts to TheBus. And even if money could be found, the city couldn’t restore service until March at the earliest, Yoshioka claims. Here’s the Star-Advertiser story.
Meanwhile, over at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit, board members unanimously approved a $7.2 million change order caused by delays in giving Kiewit Building Group notice to proceed with design and construction work for the elevated rail project. Here’s the Pacific Business News story.
So at a time when passengers must endure long waits for buses to arrive, then stand in the aisles or are turned away because the buses are packed, the city quietly squanders $7.2 million on yet another change order for rail.
Does that make you furious? Does that make you ask: Why is there always enough money for TheTrain but not for TheBus?
The answer is, Mayor Hannemann’s administration ignored warnings from federal transit officials and locked itself into rail contracts with impossible-to-meet deadlines. Now the city is legally bound to pay for change orders, including a recent one that cost us $15 million. And more change orders are coming down the tracks.
As for taxpayers, we’re stuck with the obscenely expensive bill for the city’s desperate rush into building the $5.3 billion rail project. And we’re stuck at bus stops hoping there’s enough room to squeeze aboard.
Need any more reasons to keep former Deputy Mayor Kirk Caldwell from returning to Honolulu Hale?
Please share your thoughts.