Honolulu’s Mayor, Mufi Hanneman, has been pushing for light rail through the area for sometime. But recently attacks have intensified by an anti-rail group, whose website is appropriately named Stop Rail Now. What does Stop Rail Now want? Light Rail to get to the ballot.
Unlike many Mainland communities, Honolulu’s transit tax hike was never put to a ballot vote.
“Virtually every other city that has done a rail system since World War II has done a ballot question,” said council member Charles Djou, who opposes the project. “It is highly unusual that Honolulu is moving forward with this rail system without a vote.
“If we don’t put this issue on the ballot, this issue will never be resolved. This project will always be controversial.”
I do hope Honolulu builds the line, and I hope they get it to the airport. But that’s not why I’ve written this post. Here’s my question: are we better off or worse off that we have to vote on light rail?
Without a ballot measure, it would likely be impossible to get a light rail expansion through this year, because enough of the politicians in region are against it. But we likely could have got Prop. 1 through last year without a hitch. Still, there could always be a sense of illegitimacy about light rail that was not voted on. So what do you think?