The Honolulu Area Rapid Transit Authority (HART), the entity that oversees the construction and management of the city’s proposed $5.3 billion elevated steel on steel rail system, has launched a series of radio ads promoting the project and directing the public to check out the HART web site for traffic updates. The cost for the radio spots, including production and airtime is $145,000.
Scott Ishikawa, spokesperson for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project’s Public Involvement Team, told Hawaii Reporter in an email:
“Construction of the foundation and pillars for the rail guideway is about to begin. We need to be proactive and do everything we can in letting the public know in advance about the work, so they can adjust their commute or make detours to avoid the construction areas. The radio spots also advise the public to watch for our construction crews on the road and to drive safely around them.”
The rail ad reads:
“The work on Honolulu’s rail transit system is now underway, and the construction on the elevated guideway foundations and pillars is about to begin. This comes after years of study and planning, voter approval, and project funding.
And while every effort is being made to reduce the impact of construction, drivers should expect some delays and detours while construction proceeds.
That’s one of the reasons HART – the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation – will be working to keep you informed and up to date throughout the construction process.
When completed, the elevated, electrically-powered trains will run from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, with 21 community stations along the way, providing public transportation that is fast, convenient, on-time, and never gets stuck a traffic jam.
Visit HART’s website at HonoluluTransit.org for weekly traffic construction updates and more project information.
A message from HART, paid for by Honolulu city taxpayers.”
However, Council Member Ann Kobayashi, questions why additional monies need to be spent now. Taxpayers money should not be spent on lobbying or promoting the project, she said, questioning if they are once again lobbying. The city spent $5 million before the charter vote in 2008 to promote the rail on the ballot.
RBR-TVBR observation: Why not promote the project on radio? We wouldn’t call this phase of messaging “lobbying.” It will ultimately help bring fed up car commuters over to HART when it’s complete. In the meantime, the project is going to make things worse for these commuters. Again–radio is the best way to reach them and explain what’s going on, while they are in their cars. The outreach will also reduce angry phone calls and complaints when commuters are educated.