The first two rail cars for the Honolulu rapid transit system arrived at Pier 1 at Honolulu Harbor on Thursday, March 24. The driverless rail cars are fully automated and hold up to 200 passengers each. Honolulu’s will be the first fully automated metro transit system in the nation.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, “While we have bumps down the road, 20 years from now, 50 years from now, we’re going to ride this system and get on these cars and not even think twice about it.” Pasha Hawaii’s Jean Anne shipping vessel, brought the cars from San Diego.
The elevated rail system taking shape from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center will have 20 trains, and each train will consist of four rail cars. Honolulu’s trains will be the only ones in the country to feature an “open gangway” design that allows passengers to move between all four cars in the train to search for open seats. They’ll also feature free Wi-Fi service, call boxes and closed-circuit TV for security.
The additional two cars to complete Honolulu rail’s first train arrived on March 27. Crews moved them to the rail operations center between Leeward Community College and Waipahu High School. The cars are being assembled at a Hitachi factory in Pittsburg, Calif. They’re being shipped out of San Diego and Los Angeles.