To: CITY AUDITOR, Leslie Tanaka, CPA.
Fax:(808) 7 68-3135
Mayor Hannemann continues to push Fixed Rail Mass Transit for West Oahu to the exclusion of considering other lower cost and more effective mass transit alternatives. The mayor further intends to start the fixed rail project prior to receiving federal funds. The mayor’s approach is to invite a financial disaster which will burden the Oahu taxpayer for many years to come.
The mayor has also refused to implement immediate traffic relief measures for West Oahu by simply increasing the number of express commuter buses during peak traffic hours and dedicating, to buses and van pools only, the Zipper Lane on H-1 highway/Nimitz Highway, and HOV lanes on H1- and H-2 highways.
The Office of the City Auditor's mission is to promote accountability, fiscal integrity and openness in city government. The Office of the City Auditor will examine the use of public funds, evaluate programs and activities, and provide timely, accurate and objective analyses, options and recommendations to decision makers in order to ensure that the city's resources are being used to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of the public.
As the independent City Auditor, it is requested that you examine the cost effectiveness of building a $5.0 Billion Fixed Rail Transit system as proposed by Mayor Hannemann versus building a $1.0 Billion HOT Lane as outlined by Professor Panos Prevedouros’s Study, “Transportation Alternatives Analysis for Mitigating Traffic Congestion between Leeward Oahu and Honolulu”, completed in March 2008.
The examination should include:
- A determination on whether each system meet the primary goal of providing effective traffic relief for Leeward Oahu commuters,
- the accuracy of costs for each transit system, both initial cost and O& M costs, should be confirmed.
- a determination of which system justifies the expenditure of public funds.
- confirmation that the HOT Lane Transit System could be funded primarily by Federal Highway funds and toll charges for HOT Lane use.
- if the HOT Lane Transit system is recommended for implementation, a determination of whether the existing 1/2 percent increase in the general excise tax (GET) for mass transit construction should be continued.
- a determination of how much increase in the general excise tax (GET) from 4.5 percent is needed to fund the complete cost of the Rail transit system.
- a determination in the increase in property taxes for Fixed rail if the GET is not increased.
- a determination of the most cost effective mass transit system for Leeward Oahu.
The final audit should include a recommendation as to whether the City of Honolulu should continue to pursue building the Fixed Rail Transit System or to change the mass transit to a HOT Lane Mass Transit System.
Barbara Marshall, Chair City Council
Donavan Dela Cruz