Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano released his transportation plan for Oahu Thursday.
His plan is called "FAST" -- an acronum for Flexible Affordable Smart Transportation. Cayetano says it will combine a host of modern technologies with the goal of reducing commute time on Oahu from the current average of 29 minutes to 20 minutes.
The Express Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, is a key part of Cayetano's plan. It will serve Leeward and Central Oahu as well as a College Express BRT connecting the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu Community College and everything in between.
Cayetano plans to add traffic lanes on King Street and Nimitz Highway.
Contraflow lanes on King Street and Dillingham Boulevard will accommodate rush-hour traffic and dedicated BRT lanes.
The plan also includes a 2-mile elevated reversible Nimitz Flyover for express travel from the airport viaduct to Iwilei and Downtown Honolulu and short underpasses to reduce in-town congestion.
There will also be island-wide traffic signal optimization and 21st century traffic management systems, according to the plan.
Cayetano's proposal is estimated to cost $1.1 billion -- roughly one-fifth of the current rail system proposal.
Kirk Caldwell, Cayetano's opponent in November's General Election said Cayetano's plan is a last minute, half-baked plan that is driven more by politics than by trying to solve Honolulu's serious traffic congestion.
"Cheaper is not better," said Caldwell. "This BRT proposal appears to be nothing more than a band-aid approach that does nothing to alleviate traffic from Central and West Oahu and adds congestion to our main thoroughfares in downtown Honolulu. The plain fact is that BRT will take away existing lanes and force more cars into fewer lanes – that will simply make matters worse. We already have the worst traffic congestion in the nation. Ben’s BRT plan calls for four underpasses constructed in very busy intersection, all of which will severely impact traffic and eliminate local businesses adjacent to his tunnels requiring the condemnation of small local businesses."