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Politics // The Right Price
Larry Price

Seeking A Good Name For The Train

It looks like the rail system is going to be built in the next 20 years, so I think the powers that be should start considering a name for this public monument.

In the early planning stages, a popular pet name was “Mufi’s Choo-Choo.” But for $5 billion, something more dignified is warranted, and because it takes the City and County of Honolulu so long to make decisions, maybe they should start now so it will have a name before the rail system is finished.

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano showed his wisdom and had a name for his alternative to rail: FAST (Flexible Affordable Safe Transportation). It’s easier for people to remember and relate to. Of course, there is no way the city is going to call its system “FAST” for obvious reasons.

But it’s something to think about.

It also appears there has not been much discussion about how the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is going to get motorists out of their cars and onto a rail system. Even riding the rail system for free probably wouldn’t work.

This was the problem with the ferry system we experimented with: where to park your car when you get on the alternate mode of transportation.

The old “Park and Ride” plan experienced limited success.

It is pretty amazing how addicted people are to their automobiles. Of course, most people have a pretty expensive investment in their automobiles, with payments, insurance, maintenance, fuel, oil and most of all convenience. It’s a status symbol parked in their garage. Motorists love their cars, and some even give their automobiles names, so I’m sure those who choose to ride the rail, when it’s built, will have a pet name for it, especially when it runs late or breaks down.

Let’s hope we can come up with a creative, dynamic name for our rail system, something that will make us all forget how much it cost.

After all, a nickname is a sign of social acceptance.

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