Honolulu Area Rail Transit will be one part Vancouver SkyTrain — it will use the same driverless cars, allowing for greater frequency at lower cost, and tracks will be elevated — and one part BART. The south shore of O’ahu is a narrow urbanized corridor, so HART’s single line makes sense, and ridership will no doubt be high. By extending deep into the ‘Ewa suburbs and ending just short of the highrises of Waikiki and the University of Hawaii, however, the initial segment will replicate BART’s mistake by failing to serve urban neighborhoods while providing service to low-density suburbs. It is critical, in other words, that the project’s eastern extensions proceed as soon as possible.
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