Tagged rail car triggers lawmakers questions about security breach
The images of the mural taggers left on the rail cars were jaw-dropping not just because they're elaborate, but, for the apparent easy access to Honolulu's very expensive train.
HONOLULU - The images of the mural taggers left on the rail cars were jaw-dropping not just because they're elaborate, but, for the apparent easy access to Honolulu's very expensive train.
"I am amazed. I assumed it was in a locked space," said Gov. David Ige.
The governor and Honolulu’s mayor can't believe what happened.
"They are hurting the entire community and I hope they catch these guys. I believe that there's going to be information they're going to track down and that pressure will be brought to bear," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
Caldwell is asking anyone with information to come forward and call 911 to put a stop to the senseless damage to public property. The city has been battling a chronic problem with park vandalism. But to some, the tagging on Honolulu's $8 billion train really stings.
"The big concern is that someone was able to get in to the rail center for that amount of time and execute a mural that big. Something like that really takes time and effort, and in that time no one was able to see him or catch him," said Councilmember and Transportation Chairman Joey Manahan.
HART released this statement Monday:
"Kiewitt Kobayashi joint venture provides the general security at the rail operations center and is responsible for the protection and security of the buildings, track equipment under its contract."
Manahan said he found out about the damage during a meeting Friday but was assured by HART the graffiti could be removed. But, the security breach is troubling.
"My understanding is they had cameras, but I am not sure they were working,” said Manahan.
Ansaldo officials are working with two companies to remove the graffiti without harming the finish on the new rail cars. HART is looking at possibly using chemicals used by The Bus when its vehicles are tagged. Crews are also now taking a closer look at the perimeter fence.
Over the past five years, HART's contractors have reported minor theft of items like tools, but when it comes to protecting the taxpayer's investment, this paints a clear picture something is wrong.