Honolulu Rail Scenarios and Impacts
Client: The Pacific Resource Partnership
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Strategic Economics teamed with Calthorpe Associates to evaluate a wide range of economic and other benefits associated with the future Honolulu Area Rail Transit line. The Pacific Resource Partnership commissioned the study to examine the broader benefits of the new rail service, with a focus on the benefits of concentrating future growth near the planned rail investment. The project was guided by an Advisory Committee that included representatives from local businesses, environmental organizations, property owners and developers.
Strategic Economics assisted in developing a model that evaluated the impact of different development patterns on city/county revenues, infrastructure costs, household costs, land consumption and environmental factors. Strategic Economics examined how the introduction of rail may combine with changing demographics and housing needs to influence a shift toward compact development near the rail alignment. A fiscal assessment was performed – in close collaboration with local developers and government staff – to understand the revenue and cost implications of different growth patterns. Building on this analysis, Strategic Economics developed a transit-oriented development (TOD) implementation framework that described opportunities and barriers to TOD in Honolulu, categorized station areas according to implementation need, and suggested policies, tools and strategies to help support the development of quality neighborhoods near future transit stations.
The Rail Scenarios study has informed an ongoing dialogue among a range of public and private stakeholders about the potential benefits of the rail investment and strategies to promote efficient land use patterns and economic development.