Tourism; People Mover

Requires the DOT, in cooperation with the DBEDT and the state
procurement office, to authorize the implementation of a people
mover system using private sector funds.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.1586       
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that there is a need to
 2 establish a "people mover" system for a modern, safe, efficient,
 3 and effective means of moving large numbers of persons within
 4 Waikiki, between Waikiki visitor accommodation facilities and the
 5 convention center, and between Waikiki and other areas of the
 6 city and county of Honolulu that may be of interest to visitors
 7 and residents, including the Aloha Tower Marketplace, Ala Moana
 8 Shopping Center, Ward Centre, Ward Warehouse, and downtown
 9 Honolulu that will expand the areas which may be easily and
10 safely reached by visitors and help to ease traffic congestion.
11 Such a system may use vehicles or short trains that operate
12 within an exclusive right-of-way that is separated from other
13 traffic.  Such systems have proven to be efficient, reliable, and
14 successful in many urban areas ranging from airports to
15 downtowns, and other major activity areas.  Rather than providing
16 a disincentive for commuters to use their vehicles, a people
17 mover system offers inexpensive, accessible, and reliable
18 transportation as an incentive for commuters.
19      The legislature further finds that the development of such a

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                                     H.B. NO.1586       

 1 system could relieve traffic congestion as well as support the
 2 State's vital visitor industry.  However, funding for such a
 3 system is uncertain, given the State's current financial
 4 situation.  Several proposals have been made in the past by
 5 foreign and domestic firms to develop such a system in a limited
 6 area of Honolulu at no charge to the State or city and county of
 7 Honolulu for the purpose of demonstrating available technology.
 8 While the legislature realizes that development of such a system
 9 will not likely be provided for free--a company that offers to
10 build such a system may seek the exclusive use, right-of-way, or
11 right to operate the system--the legislature nevertheless
12 determines that such a system has the potential to relieve
13 traffic congestion and expand tourism beyond Waikiki into other
14 areas, while requiring little start-up expenses from the state or
15 county governments.  If private funds are not available, the
16 State could investigate other sources of funding for this
17 purpose.
18      In addition to easing traffic congestion in Honolulu and
19 boosting the visitor industry and economic development, the
20 legislature finds that a people mover system will tie-in smoothly
21 with proposals for the operation of a private ferry between
22 Leeward Oahu and downtown Honolulu.  In one scenario involving
23 such a ferry system, a public-private partnership would be

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 1 created in which public lands would be leased for a nominal sum
 2 to a private entity for commercial purposes for a term of years,
 3 and the private entity, in return for the lease, would agree to
 4 operate a ferry service between Leeward Oahu and downtown
 5 Honolulu at no cost or nominal cost to the State for the duration
 6 of the land lease.
 7      The construction of a people mover system would directly
 8 benefit such a ferry system if the people mover is extended to
 9 downtown Honolulu, thereby allowing riders of that system-
10 -whether commuters or tourists--to continue their trip by ferry
11 to the Leeward side of the island.  The people mover system would
12 therefore increase the ridership of the ferry system, and vice
13 versa.  Increased ridership on both ends of the two systems would
14 also greatly facilitate transportation and tourism opportunities
15 between Waikiki and Leeward Oahu, including the convention
16 center, Aloha Tower, Waikele, Kapolei, and other destinations.
17      While the legislature finds that the development of a people
18 mover system using all or almost all private funding is feasible,
19 the State may nevertheless wish to assume the development,
20 construction, operation, and maintenance of the people mover in
21 the event that the State is able to obtain federal funding for
22 that system.
23      The purpose of this Act is to authorize the department of

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                                     H.B. NO.1586       

 1 transportation, in cooperation with the department of business,
 2 economic development, and tourism, and the state procurement
 3 office, to implement a people mover system between Waikiki and
 4 other areas of Honolulu, or parts thereof, including but not
 5 limited to the convention center, Ala Moana Shopping Center, Ward
 6 Centre, Ward Warehouse, and Aloha Tower Marketplace, using
 7 private sector funds.
 8      SECTION 2.  (a)  The department of transportation, in
 9 cooperation with the department of business, economic
10 development, and tourism, and the state procurement office, is
11 authorized to implement a people mover system between Waikiki and
12 other areas of Honolulu, including but not limited to the
13 convention center, Ala Moana Shopping Center, Ward Centre, Ward
14 Warehouse, and Aloha Tower Marketplace, at no capital and
15 operating costs to the State or city and county of Honolulu,
16 subject to chapter 103D, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  The department
17 of transportation shall work with appropriate officials of the
18 city and county of Honolulu and private industry to implement the
19 people mover system.  The department shall also explore ways to
20 integrate the county's bus system and other resources with the
21 people mover system.
22      (b) The department of transportation and the department of
23 land and natural resources are authorized to waive or assess

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                                     H.B. NO.1586       

 1 nominal fees for the use of public infrastructure required for
 2 use by the private operator of the people mover system.  The
 3 department of transportation and the department of land and
 4 natural resources are also authorized to lease public lands that
 5 are required by the private operator to operate the people mover
 6 system at a nominal cost to the operator.
 7      (c)  The department of transportation shall make provisions
 8 for public comment on the route or range of routes to be followed
 9 by the people mover system, and on the minimum requirements for
10 the people mover system prior to issuing the request for
11 proposals, particularly with respect to those communities that
12 may be directly affected by the route of the people mover system.
13 An environmental impact statement shall also be required.
14      (d)  The department of transportation shall submit a report
15 to the legislature on the people mover system not later than
16 thirty days prior to the convening of the regular session of
17 2001.
18      SECTION 3.  Any other provision of this Act notwithstanding,
19 the department of transportation shall maximize its efforts and
20 aggressively explore ways to obtain federal transportation
21 funding for the people mover system.  In the event that it
22 becomes feasible for the State to construct and operate the
23 system itself, if there is insufficient private sector interest

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                                     H.B. NO.1586       

 1 and sufficient federal funds have become available, the
 2 department of transportation, with the cooperation of the
 3 department of business, economic development, and tourism, is
 4 authorized to proceed with the construction and operation of the
 5 system, either on its own, or in cooperation and partnership with
 6 the city and county of Honolulu.
 7      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
 9                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________