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Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs

FAQs - All FAQs
How will we pay for it?

The local General Excise and Use Tax (GET) surcharge for rail, which is a half-percent surcharge on goods and services purchased on Oahu, has been collected since 2007. The surcharge will continue through 2027. This will yield $4.8 billion for the project. Another $1.55 billion has been awarded to HART by the Federal Transit Administration. The remaining funds will come from other federal programs and locally generated revenue, such as interest on funds on deposit.

See: Full Funding Grant Agreement

Will there be parking?

Yes. There are four park-and-ride facilities planned. They will be at the Kualaka'i station (900 stalls), Keone'ae station at UH-West Oahu (1,000 stalls), The Waiawa station at Pearl Highlands (1,600 stalls) and the Hālawa station at Aloha Stadium (600 stalls), providing a total of 4,100 spaces. The city bus routes will be reconfigured to provide shuttle-like services to the rail stations from nearby communities and high-use facilities, like hospitals and shopping centers. In addition, each station will have drop-off areas, including areas for the Handi-Van that comply with all requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Updated 7/2/2020

What about rider safety, as these are driverless trains?

Safety is a top priority. Therefore, All stations and trains will be equipped with high-definition, closed-circuit TV security cameras, including entrance areas, adjacent transit centers, parking lots, and garages.

A wide range of safety resources, systems, and devices—including 24-hour system monitoring, intrusion alarms, emergency call stations, and roving station attendants and train operators—ensure passenger safety from arrival to departure. These staff members will provide customer service and assist during emergencies. All rail stations will have interior and exterior safety lighting. The elevated guideway, situated above ground-level hazards, provides an added safety measure, minimizing vehicle collision risk and pedestrian accidents. Each station boarding area includes platform screen gates to keep people and objects away from the energized tracks.

All rail stations and trains are ADA compliant and are accessible to persons in wheelchairs. Every station has either a walkway/ramp or elevator from the street to the platform. Stations will feature audio announcements and physical braille signage with tactile raised letters in large print for customers with visual impairments. In addition, ADA compliant tactile warning surface tiles are at the platform edges and gate openings.

Keep out of HART’s Rail Operations Center 43-acre rail yard as this area is extremely dangerous with moving trains and the same electrified track. Do not cut or hop fences to enter secured facilities. Never put anything on the tracks or throw objects into the railyard or onto the guideway. Never climb railroad vehicles or walk on the track.

Updated 8/17/2021

Will there be security on the trains and at stations?

The rail will have a multitude of safety and security systems in place to keep passengers safe at the stations and while riding the trains. The system is monitored by staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from the Rail Operations Center’s Command Center. In addition, the safety protocols will include a security firm, Honolulu Police Department station patrols, and roving station attendants. Station safety protocols include CCTV security cameras, interior and exterior safety lighting, and platform safety guards.

Updated 8/17/2021

What is the electrified “third rail” on the tracks, and why is it so dangerous?

Third rail is a method of providing electric power to the trains. Third rail systems are always supplied from direct current electricity. Third rail systems present electric shock hazards and are considered extremely dangerous. A very high current must be used to transfer adequate power. The electrified third rail threatens the electrocution of anyone trying to access the tracks. The third rail is energized with 750 volts of electricity and is so strong that if you touch it, you may be killed. It is 100 times more powerful than electricity in your home.

Updated 8/17/2021

What else should I know about track safety?

Safety is #1. HART and its contractor Hitachi Rail Honolulu JV have energized the contact rail, or “third rail,” on the tracks with 750 volts of electricity at the Rail Operations Center yard and throughout the elevated guideway from Kualaka‘i (East Kapolei) Station to Hālawa (Aloha Stadium) Station.

Trains in the Rail Operations Center are fully automated and will operate unmanned. The trains may start and stop suddenly or switch direction, making the rail yard and the nearly five miles of track dangerous and unsafe for those without the proper safety training. Never put anything on the tracks or throw objects into the rail yard.

Here are some safety tips:
• Never trespass on the rail guideway. The electrified rail could kill you instantly.
• The third rail has 750 Volts DC of electricity flowing through it at all times.
- Serious injury or death will occur if someone comes in contact with this rail.
- Rail power is hundreds of times more powerful than the electricity in your home.
• Keep out of HART’s Rail Operations Center 43-acre rail yard as this area is extremely dangerous with moving trains and the same electrified track.
• Never cut or hop the perimeter fences to enter a station.
• Trains may move in any direction at any time, without warning.
• Never put anything on the tracks or throw objects into the railyard or onto the guideway.

Updated 8/17/2021

How many people can fit on the train?

Each four-car train can carry a passenger load of more than 800 people, which is greater than the load capacity of 10 City buses.

Updated 7/2/2020

Compared to TheBus, how much will it cost to operate and maintain rail?

Rail will cost about half as much to operate and maintain than TheBus. The cost of operating and maintaining TheBus system will increase much faster each year than it will for rail.

Updated 7/2/2020

How much of the construction cost will be paid by the federal funds?

$1.55 Billion of the project cost will be paid for by the federal government.

See: Full Funding Grant Agreement

Updated 7/2/2020

Will the train go to the airport?

Yes, the train will make traveling to the airport quick and easy, without the hassle of traffic and parking. For example, to take the train from the downtown station to the airport will take just 12 minutes on the congestion-free elevated system, which is on time, every time.

Updated 7/2/2020

HART Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation