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Honolulu’s Skyline rail ridership still paltry, cost now $72 each

Skyline’s average daily ridership since opening in July is 3,100

Despite opening to much fanfare this summer, Honolulu’s over-budget, behind-schedule Honolulu rail project, aka Skyline, has not attracted anywhere near the ridership numbers that city officials had hoped for.

Of course, the transit system is only about half completed, with its cars traveling about between only Kapolei and Halawa.

But even under those circumstances, Honolulu’s director of transportation services, Roger Morton, said back in July that the city wanted to see between 8,000 and 10,000 people riding it everyday by the end of 2023.

Those estimates did not pan out. According to the city’s latest statistics, the Skyline ended the year with an average daily ridership of just 3,323 — and that’s counting the first five days, during which thousands rode the rail for free. Not counting those days, the average daily ridership dips to a paltry 3,100.

At this level of ridership, Honolulu taxpayers are paying more than $72 for every ride, while the rider pays the standard $3 fare. This makes Grassroot’s earlier projection — that the rail costs taxpayers $51 per rider — look like a good deal.

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