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Mayor Mufi Hannemann will be in San Francisco tomorrow, Monday, June 2nd, where he has been invited to be a guest speaker at the American Public Transportation Association 2008 Rail Conference.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share the good news about Honolulu’s Rail Transit Project with the leading experts in the field from around the country,” said Mayor Hannemann.  “I also view this as a chance to learn from them how to best proceed with rail for Honolulu.”

The theme of the conference is the positive and pivotal role rail transit plays in the areas of global warming, climate protection and sustainability.

“The environmental benefits of rail transit are inarguable,” said Mayor Hannemann.  “While the study issued this week by the Brookings Institute that showed Honolulu with the smallest carbon footprint of any major American city was an honor, there is certainly more work that needs to be done.  The study shows that including rail transit in our city’s transportation plan and incorporating transit oriented development will help us maintain our strong ranking”

In addition to Mayor Hannemann, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary John Porcari, and Cathy Zoi of The Alliance for Climate Protection are scheduled to address the conference.

“The people of Honolulu need an alternative to the automobile.  We have become overly dependent on our cars, and that dependence has devastating effects on our environment.  Those who oppose rail would rather see us increase our reliance on fossil fuel and consume more of our scarce and valuable land for more freeways and parking lots,” Mayor Hannemann said.  “I certainly look forward to this conference on rail and environmental sustainability.”

From San Francisco, Mayor Hannemann will travel on to Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin, where he’ll be joined by state and city officials to examine Joint Traffic Management and Emergency Operations Centers.

“We plan to break ground in 2010 on such a center for Honolulu so that we can better move the cars and trucks on our streets and roadways” said Mayor Hannemann.  “Again, learning from the experts in the field, will certainly help us with our integrated multi-modal transportation system for Honolulu.”

Mayor Hannemann is scheduled to return to Honolulu on Saturday.

Monday, June 02, 2008

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