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HART unveils plans for rail station at Honolulu International Airport

Web Staff | khon2

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation unveiled Wednesday designs for the Honolulu rail system’s station at Honolulu International Airport.

The future station site will be built along Ala Auana Street between the overseas and international parking structures.

“That would be an extremely big convenience for any tourist I would imagine to be able to do that,” said visitor Marilyn Lopiti.

“I get here to the airport and guess what. The parking is full because everyone else is going to the neighbor islands too,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “What a relief it’s going to be when in 2019, five years from today, instead folks — local folks who live on this island — can instead take the train to the airport.”

Officials say the station will be elevated, with sky bridges connecting to the parking garages and access to the international and inter-island terminals.

Oahu Transit Service head Roger Morton told KHON2 there is much work to be done to figure out the bus to train to airport transfer with passengers luggage in tow, but transportation officials say it is possible.

The Department of Transportation Services says it will work with HART to ensure city buses and rail offer the same accommodations.

“We don’t want the system to break down,” said department director Mike Formby. “It’s bus and rail. So once HART comes up with their specifications, we’ll work with them to make sure it works on bus as well.”

“We actually visited New York and we were able to get on and off the bus and the trains with our bags and so that was a good idea,” said Lopiti.

Public meetings will be held later this summer for the community to participate in design discussions. Details have yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, the Department of Planning and Permitting will hold the first of several community workshops for residents and businesses to create the Airport Area Transit-Oriented Development Plan.

The workshop is set for Tuesday, July 22, at the Aliamanu Elementary School Cafeteria, 3265 Salt Lake Boulevard, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The plan will focus on the areas around the rail stations planned at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Honolulu International Airport and Lagoon Drive.

The completed plan will will address local issues related to land use, circulation, infrastructure and community character, and provide a guide for future public and private investment in the neighborhood.

Site of the future rail station at Honolulu International Airport
2014-Airport Station_Aerial Perspective-Labels_resized_4
Renderings provided by HART


Connecticut Looks To Add Another Train Station In Bridgeport

Daily Voice

Bridgeport will be getting another Metro-North train station.
Bridgeport will be getting another Metro-North train station. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Commuters should have more options — and more places to park — when Metro-North adds a new Fairfield County train station in Bridgeport on its New Haven Line by 2018, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Wednesday.

Malloy made the announcement at the former Remington Arms factory, a brownfield property, which will be the location of the city’s second train station.

“With this investment in the Barnum Train Station, we are improving the quality of life for residents in Bridgeport’s East Side and East End while at the same time encouraging transit-oriented and economic development in our largest city,” said Malloy.

“Moving this project forward demonstrates our commitment to helping municipal partners and stakeholders make their communities more accessible, more walkable centers of cultural and economic activity.”

The State Bond Commission at its next meeting will approve $2.75 million for the Connecticut Department of Transportation to hire a consultant to complete the engineering, design and environmental permitting to develop the site of the new Barnum Train Station, he said.

When this funding is in place, the 18-month design phase can begin. Soil remediation can begin in spring of 2016, and construction on the station could occur in 2017 for a start of operations in the fall of 2018, according to a statement from Malloy’s office.

“We’re making smart investments in the future,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “Key investments include the East Bridgeport Development Corridor, which will serve as a catalyst for growth in the city’s East End, East Side, and Mill Hill neighborhoods. This project is already gaining steam. But it will never reach its full potential without a train station nearby. The proposed Barnum Station, which will be the second train station in our state’s largest city, will help ensure the East Bridgeport Development Corridor becomes a place where people want to live and work, and where companies want to invest and hire people.”

ConnDOT Deputy Commissioner Anna M. Barry applauded the project.

“If we are going to get people out of their cars and onto public transportation, we have to make it convenient, clean, safe and reliable,” said Barry. “Adding a new station helps move us further along toward that goal. It will also help us fulfill another commitment to the people of Connecticut – the creation of new transit-oriented development.”

Malloy said the funding for Barnum Station is just one part of a coordinated strategy to increase ridership along the New Haven Line by investing in new stations, train cars and rail infrastructure to ensure safer, faster and more reliable service for residents.

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to vote on the item at its July 25 meeting at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

In recent years, the state has opened new train stations at Fairfield Metro and West Haven in Connecticut.

Can public transit grow, and New Orleans grow with it?

Richard Rainey | The Times

Magazine Street is bustling, with its coveted storefronts and crowded sidewalks. Buses along this Uptown corridor come about every 19 minutes, or sooner during rush hour.

In the Upper 9th Ward, the shuttered Club Desire, once a bastion of New Orleans’ music before Hurricane Katrina, falls apart at the corner of Law and Desire Streets. Around it, empty lots and blighted houses alternate with homes rebuilt after that storm. The bus passes once every hour and 10 minutes, even at peak hours.

A report released earlier this week detailing the gap in wait times and the number of weekly bus trips among New Orleans neighborhoods questions whether scarce transit service has slowed the recovery of some communities.

That’s likely to be a key issue as the Regional Transit Authority, its passengers and city residents in coming months debate plans to expand some routes and how to raise millions of extra dollars to keep service growing as the costs of operations continue to rise.

It’s overly simplistic to say that buses and streetcars alone account for a community’s development, but public transit experts and advocates say there’s a connection. Called “transit-oriented development,” the thinking goes that building commuter centers, where bus routes, bicycle racks, walking paths and carports intersect, boost commerce and real estate nearby.

The RTA and the private company that runs it, Veolia Transportation Services Inc., have said they provide as much service as possible with the resources available. Hurricane Katrina slashed the number of passenger trips generating $1.25 fares from 34 million in 2004 to fewer than two million in 2006, according to the National Transit Database. Ridership climbed to around 13 million paying riders in 2012, but still a far cry from pre-storm levels. That drop continues to cut deeply into the system’s revenues

Nevertheless, Veolia expanded bus service in January and plans to do so again in September, adding more buses and new routes – improvements that reflect the city’s continued recovery. Read more

As Texas Traffic Forecasts Worsen, Some Worry of a Drag on State Economy

The Texas Tribune

Among America’s biggest cities, Houston has emerged as a national leader in job growth since the recession, spurred by a low cost of living and a booming energy industry. Bob Harvey, president of the Greater Houston Partnership, an economic development group, regularly chats with local employers and those thinking about bringing new jobs to the city. Listening to complaints about Houston traffic comes with the territory.

But last summer, Harvey observed a shift. In conversations with business leaders, concerns about congestion began surfacing more frequently and with greater urgency.

“I can now pretty much count on it coming up in every conversation,” Harvey said late last year. “It’s just the furious amount of growth we’ve seen in the last couple of years that has overwhelmed that problem.” Read more

Massachusetts boosting rents for yacht, boat clubs

Colman M Herman | CommonWealth

State officials are trying to put their property management practices in order, preparing to charge 31 yacht and boat clubs more for the public lands they are leasing and possibly taking one deadbeat yacht club to court for failing to pay its long-overdue back rent.

The new rental system, being phased in over the next 12 to 18 months, will replace one-year permit rentals with 30-year leases and steadily increase the rents. It would also require the clubs to provide in-kind contributions as part of their lease agreements, with possibilities including picnic tables, public restrooms, bike racks, boating instruction, and local scholarships. The clubs will also be required to make repairs and improvements to their facilities, the cost of which won’t be deducted from the rent.

For educational institutions such as Harvard and Boston University that are renting land for their boat clubs and sailing pavilions along the Charles River and elsewhere, the increases will be the most dramatic. The schools are currently paying $5,000 a year in rent (Harvard was only paying $1 a year for its sailing pavilion until last year), but payments will initially jump to $18,000 the first year under the new plan and increase every year thereafter. The rents will double by the fifth year and max out at $100,000 a year in 30 years. Read more

Yes, Full-Service Transit Can Work. Just Look at Lemon Grove in San Diego.

Mary Sessom – Mayor of Lemon Grove |

At least one official has publicly emphasized the need for more basic services along the trolley lines.

The sense conveyed is that this can’t be remedied without extensive studies or a significant shifting of resources. But one way to study that idea would be to check their own backyard: Just look to Lemon Grove.

Lemon Grove is a small, blue-collar city with a diverse population. More than that, it’s a city on the move.

Young families looking for affordable housing close to employment centers turn to Lemon Grove for options. New stores and restaurants are opening, as businesses take advantage of the growing residential density in the downtown core. It’s a city that emphasizes serving the public.

The trolley station at Lemon Grove Avenue and Broadway is an example of that. The Lemon Grove transit station has amenities that other stations lack. It’s park-adjacent, with public art in the nearby promenade inviting transit riders to explore our city’s history. Traditional and futuristic windmills provide electricity to the park’s solar trees. The station itself has shelter for both bus and trolley riders, and a convenience store with city-required healthy food choices.

But this took years to develop. In 1998, recognizing that our city was “98 percent built out,” the City Council got to work on a plan for downtown. After considering input from various community stakeholders, the Council adopted the Lemon Grove Downtown Specific Plan in 2005. The plan emphasized providing attractive public spaces, carrying out transit-oriented development and building on the unique character and community of the city. Read more


Denver plots out strategy to kick off boom near transit stations

Jon Murray | The Denver Post

A new transit station planned for 38th and Blake streets in Denver has the potential to transform the industrial area into a vibrant urban community, neighborhood and city leaders say.

But there are a lot of ifs: More development could sprout in the River North area if, for example, the city builds more sidewalks; if it fixes the storm sewers and streets; and if it creates more ways for people to cross the railroad tracks dividing the area. Read more

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