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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  January 24, 2006

Release M-6-06






         Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Honolulu City Councilmen Gary Okino and Todd Apo completed their tour of Vancouver’s Skytrain system yesterday and came away impressed with what they observed and inspected.

        Officials from the Canadian government; Bombardier Transportation, Inc., which developed Vancouver’s 20-year-old advanced rapid transit system, and TransLink, which operates it, briefed the three Honolulu officials. Skytrain is said to be the largest fully automated rail transit system in the world. The technology combines features found in conventional rapid transit such as subways and light rail coupled with the automation found in “people mover” systems. Skytrain operates on segregated rights of way free of any pedestrian or automobile crossings.
       “Skytrain is a safe, clean and efficient system,” said Mayor Hannemann. “As their ridership increases from 3 to 7  percent a year, they have managed to expand their system and operate it effectively.  I especially like how they have successfully implemented an integrated bus and rail strategy. Over 50 percent of their transit passengers depend on the bus to connect them to Skytrain. This is the type of strategy I envision for Honolulu’s multimodal transit system. We also witnessed first-hand the positive impact Skytrain has had on the economic and social development of the region, especially around the 32 transit stations. I see the same benefits accruing on Oahu once our system is in place.”                     


            In preparation for development of a mass transit system for Oahu and to move the project along, Mayor Hannemann today announced the creation of a Transit Finance Advisory Committee to recommend creative ways to finance the project.

            The committee will consist of these accomplished private-sector individuals:

·       Walter Dods, former chairman and CEO of First Hawaiian Bank.

·       Mark Fukunaga, chairman and CEO of Servco Pacific.

·       Joseph J. Kim, chairman of Equinox Holdings.

·       Constance Lau, president of American Savings Bank.

·       Dee Jay Mailer, CEO of the Kamehameha Schools.

·       Sir Deryck Maughan, managing director of KKR  and chairman KKR Asia.

·       Donald M. Takaki, chairman and CEO of Island Movers and Bank of Hawaii board member.


            “Work on an in-depth alternatives analysis for mass transit is already well underway, and we’re confident it will result in a plan to develop a rail transit system as part of a multi-modal transportation system for Oahu,” said Hannemann. “While much of the funding to underwrite this project will come from public tax revenues and federal appropriations, we hope this committee can identify opportunities for private investment and participation and any other avenues that would broaden financial support for this rail system. Successful systems I have seen thus far, like Vancouver, encourage public-private partnerships.”


               Mayor Hannemann is now en route to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 74th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. While in Washington, he will brief federal and Congressional officials about the status of Honolulu’s transit project. At the end of the week, on his way home to Honolulu, he will stop in Las Vegas to examine that city’s monorail system.

            Earlier in the week, Councilmen Apo and Okino visited the Las Vegas monorail before joining the mayor in Vancouver.



                  Bill Brennan, 527-6928

                  Mark Matsunaga, 527-5784

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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