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  • Writer's pictureNathanael Bueno

Introducing a new era of transportation for O'ahu

It is the art of moving that unites us. This fast-paced dynamic between us and vehicles journeying through a labyrinth of roads woven throughout the island connects us to our destinations and dreams. However, the art of moving is not without its challenges. In the face of traffic and congestion, we have long sought a definitive solution to mitigate our transportation experience from the ordinary. Finally, the City and County of Honolulu is set to unveil the highly anticipated rail system on June 30th—a marvel for public transportation enthusiasts and working-class citizens of Honolulu that’ll guarantee seamless transportation from the Aloha Stadium to East Kapolei.

This new rail system not only aims to provide an alternative to congested roadways but it moreso revolutionizes the way we navigate the island. Despite the liberation it provides, the realities of using a car are immensely stressful for an obvious multitude of reasons. Among those reasons are paying and finding parking, getting into potential accidents on the H1, and it is certainly dreadful paying for gas, a chemical that heavily contributes to air pollution. Given its vicinity constraints, Hawai‘i’s new rail system will, in part, alleviate these issues and offer us an eco-friendly and cost-efficient mode of transportation.

I was granted an incredible opportunity to attend a preview ride before the grand opening and it was a very pleasant experience, to say the least. I found myself fully immersed in the train’s impressive fusion of art and technology. A plethora of seats was found throughout the cabin, providing a comfortable refuge for the ordinary passenger to truly indulge in the ride. The interplay of light and shadows danced throughout the cabin, painting the interior with an inviting luminescence that elevates the ordinary commute into something tranquil and exciting. Hawai‘i’s new monorail reaffirms the great impact that the art of moving can have on our lives.

Nonetheless, the significance of the grand opening of Hawai‘i’s new rail system goes beyond its blend of aesthetics and functionality. There are a total of nine stations that run through the whole monorail. Hālaulani is station 6, which is conveniently located on the west end of the Leeward Community College campus. Down further to the second station, Keone‘ae serves as a stop for the UH West O‘ahu campus. These are critical assets for students in the area that will not only simplify the daily commute to school but will also open more educational and social opportunities as students seamlessly connect with their campuses and enhance their overall academic experiences in a sustainable fashion. With legitimate prospects of the rail project extending to the UH Mānoa campus, Hawai‘i’s new transportation system will support and empower the educational ambitions of all Honolulu students and staff.

As the rail system officially commences operation, it is set to officially run on July 1st with a fare-free promotion where passengers can just tap their HOLO card to ride for free until July 4th. Soon after this promotion, the regular fare will be set to $3.00 for a single adult and $7.50 for a day cap. The trains run from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Trains are scheduled to arrive at the stations every 10 minutes. The convenient operation schedule and accessible transportation options provide Hawai‘i residents and visitors with an efficient and environmentally friendly way to explore the vibrant communities of this island. We must remind ourselves that we are part of this collective movement and this desire to keep moving forward is how we embrace this transformative era, honoring the art of moving that unites us all. For more information, visit the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) website.

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