Lingle undecided on city’s rail transit

October 21st, 2008

Gov. Linda Lingle, who earlier supported having the public vote on the city’s $4 billion rail transit system, said yesterday she has not decided if she will vote to approve the project.

With just two weeks left until Oahu voters cast their vote on a proposed City Charter amendment to continue Mayor Mufi Hannemann‘s vision for an elevated 20-mile “steel wheel on steel rail” system, Lingle said she hasn’t been convinced that the city can afford it.

“I still don’t know how I”m going to vote on Election Day,” Lingle said, speaking to reporters in her office for the first time yesterday after her trip to the mainland to campaign for Sen. John McCain. “What’s keeping me on making the final decision is the cost of it and whether or not I believe the people of Hawaii will afford it in the long term and I haven’t been convinced of that.

“That will be the deciding factor for me,” Lingle continued. “Will it be something that we can support or will it be a financial burden for people that already have a high cost of living?”

Hannemann’s opponent, City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, introduced a mass transit plan to relieve traffic with an estimated cost of $2.5 billion. Lingle said she doesn’t know if state transportation officials had yet reviewed the plan.

4 Responses to “Lingle undecided on city’s rail transit”

  1. Don:

    As Lingle herself once said in this very newspaper, “…we need to be politically mature enough, treat the public like adults and let them know that clearly we would need substantial revenues beyond what we have available today in order to pay for a system like this.” It’s time for the governor to be politically mature, if she’s capable.

  2. Dennis:

    She’s been too busy campaigning for McCain to think about Hawaii problems.

  3. Keith Kamisugi:

    What Dennis said. The Governor has been so busy disparaging the local born young man running to be the first kama’aina elected to the White House that she hasn’t had time to decide on transit. Or even know whether DOT reviewed the plan.

  4. Vanessa:

    Why should she care what happens here? She’s off running for other offices, more than likely a federal level…could it be a run in 2012? Trust it seems to me that Lingle will not fade away into the Hawaii History books after her Governor tenure is all pau. Distancing herself from a plan of an obvious Barack campaigner is her way of getting her digs in on a subtle touch.

    tsk tsk…don’t go throwing away those Hawaii connections just yet Linda…you put your eggs all in one basket and you’ll end up getting egg on your face soon enough.

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