March 2017: HART
HSBP was treated to a tour of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) 43-acre Maintenance Storage Facility and Rail Operations Center in Pearl City for our March Boardroom event. The Honolulu Rail project is hoping to open as early as 2020, and the entire system is projected to come online by 2025. HSBP members were able to see the maintenance facility where the trains will be cleaned and maintained on a nightly basis, as well as the operations center where the trains will be controlled. Honolulu’s system will be the first completely driverless transit system in the U.S., so naturally we were very curious to see the nuts and bolts behind the trains.
Akira Fujita, the Project Manager for the facility, gave us a great overview of the coming system and we were able to board a sample train to see exactly what the city will be getting. Officials explained that there is a lot of emphasis on safety and security, personal safety for passengers as well as the system as a whole. Ultimately, the system will connect West Oahu with downtown Honolulu and Ala Moana Center via the airport. Everyone expressed hope that the final system will deliver relief from the rush hour traffic and logjams that currently make commuting from West Oahu to town so painful.