Sunday, June 18, 2017

Age Of Electric Smart Self-Driving Vehicles Coming To Hawaii

Age Of Electric Smart Self-Driving Vehicles Coming To Hawaii


One the biggest Energy and Transportation trends in Hawaii's history will completely change public transit, energy, Transit Oriented Development and highway traffic patterns and all OUTDATED RAIL and TOD projections. 

Nothing previously will change the Oahu General Plan as much as what is coming to Honolulu and Hawaii by 2020 and in full force by 2035!

Everyone needs to watch this extremely important international presentation by a world leading forecaster of a major Energy and Transportation “virtual tsunami” that will hit Hawaii by 2020. It’s 53 minutes. It will CHANGE EVERYTHING about the premise of the Oahu General Plan, HART Rail and TOD plans are based upon.

Clean Disruption - Why Energy & Transportation will be Transformed by 2030

Tony Seba's Clean Disruption Keynote presentation at the Swedbank Nordic Energy Summit in Oslo, Norway, March 17th, 2016.

The keynote, based on the book 'Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation' shows that four technology categories will disrupt energy and transportation in Hawaii and worldwide:

1- Batteries / Energy Storage
2- Electric Vehicles
3- Self-Driving Vehicles
4- Solar Energy

The outcome of the Clean Disruption is that by 2030 
• All new vehicles will be electric.
• All new vehicles will be autonomous (self-driving).
• Oil will be obsolete
• Coal, natural gas and nuclear will be obsolete
• 80+ per cent of parking spaces will be obsolete.
• Individual car ownership will be obsolete.
• All new energy will be provided by solar (and wind)

Clean Disruption is a technology disruption. Just like digital cameras disrupted film and the web disrupted publishing, Clean Disruption is inevitable and it will be swift.

Goldman Sachs has projected the market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles will grow from about $3 billion in 2015 to $96 billion in 2025 and $290 billion in 2035. Intel just recently paid $15 billion to purchase Mobileye, a world leader in vehicle collision avoidance technology.

The rapidly growing self-driving vehicle industry covers everything from road testing to software development, electronics, styling design, automotive servicing, mechanics, and offers major entrepreneurial business and job creation opportunities. And like it or not, this is THE major coming energy and transit phenomenon.

Driverless Vehicles will revolutionize all concepts of Public Transit and Transit Oriented Development on Oahu. Less than 3 years away, will change everything about how people will go to places in Hawaii. In 5 years this will be as ubiquitous as cell phones today.

Self-driving cars will be the "private industry capital" needed for public transit innovation that is favored by the current DOT administration and was already receiving big support from the previous DOT administration. A lot of the smart capital investment money is going into it.

This could even be considered as an FTA Recovery Alternative for HART Rail that the new DOT Secretary could support as another option to consider. Hart Rail is still many years away (likely 2026-29, maybe) from ever being a revenue generating system and by the time it is operational in ANY FORM the Smart self-driving vehicle industry will be the choice ride for nearly everyone. HART has never factored the effect of this major new technology in their ridership projections.

Honolulu HART Rail ridership estimates and TOD concepts need to be completely revised to be relevant.

Driverless vehicles will be the best answer for revenue generation for State highway improvements, can create virtual hot lanes, capacity increasing vehicle convoys, make automatic electronic toll payments, move far more people in comfort with much better traffic flow and with much fewer highway accidents.

While other states have permitted testing, California has just taken a major step forward for the self-driving vehicle industry. Given California's size as the most populous state, its clout as the nation's biggest car market and longtime role as a cultural trendsetter this will most certainly will affect Hawaii in the near future. The State Legislature should examine the process California underwent to move self-driving vehicles forward.

Most major self-driving vehicle developers see 2020 as the new decade year when the combination of many technologies become mainstream with widespread deployment and public acceptance. Smart phone applications, social media and popular movie, TV and internet media fueled by major advertising budgets will all help drive it forward very quickly as the technology is rolled out everywhere. Hawaii doesn’t have to be the last place this happens.

The Governor has acted immediately to bring the major self-driving vehicle developers like Google and Apple over to Hawaii to brief the University and State legislature on the many possible job opportunities and benefits. Smart vehicle testing and product development in Hawaii would be a real high tech boom, with grants and jobs for college students and researchers.

The internet is just 21 years old and has largely transformed American society in almost every way. Smart phones have become a world-wide ubiquitous "must have" commodity in only 5 years, containing digital cameras, GPS, useful apps, vast storage and huge computer processing capacity as part of Cloud networks.

Driverless vehicles are tapping directly into this already built and growing phenomena of many technologies, including fashion trends, in ways that most people have not yet imagined what the revolutionary implications are for public transit.

Driverless Vehicles Will Be Economically Successful With Many Advantages

Driverless vehicles can form virtual On Demand Hot Lane Toll Lanes and transmit fees electronically. No toll booths needed.

Operating cost of 6-10 passenger self-driving VanPool vehicles will be very competitive and can safely tailgate at 60 MPH like virtual railway train cars but with much greater capacity and comfort.

Driverless Vehicles will provide transportation services all day and all night, without needing to park on the street or in a garage. Insurance rates will be the lowest for driverless vehicles because they will have the lowest accident rates.

Quieter electric self-driving vehicles can be charged using solar voltaic panels and will not require the enormous electric bill, traction power and power plant stations required by the current HART rail. This new public transit industry will be self-funded by private enterprise.

Hawaii's government Social Services would likely make it affordable for low income by providing electronic ride share cards subsiding trips for students, elderly, handicapped, medical appointments and as an unemployed benefit.

Driverless Vehicles will report in for periodic servicing automatically at the most optimal coordinated times, significantly lowering operations cost. Their safety checks and registrations will always be current. Tolls and fees paid automatically.

Driverless Vehicles will help eliminate the need to own a second or multiple family cars. Traditional family cars will likely remain for a decade in garages as the public accepts the reliability and lower cost features of driverless on demand transit services for daily job commuting.

There will be a wide range of specialized driverless vehicle services created or enhanced including overnight package delivery, emergency medical response, food market deliveries, etc. People not requiring driver licenses or car insurance can accompany driverless vehicles for personalized service at the destination.

The introduction of self-driving cars will lessen consumer opposition to paying more to use roads during peak periods. Ride-hailing apps have taught consumers to accept surge pricing, and people are generally less resistant to paying for something new if it is comfortable and convenient. It’s like ordering a pizza. H-1 congestion pricing, toll fees, virtual hot lanes will be built in to self-driving transit.

Commuters will get to work and get home much earlier than the bus, rail, station, bus re-boarding mess created by HART rail. Much greater inconvenience, much longer daily commute times, mostly standing up in HART rail subway style "cattle cars" sometimes with very undesirable, strange, smelly people, professional thief opportunities, railway and station accidents delaying trains will make HART rail very unpopular. TV, movies and social media will promote the great comfort of self-driving options over the hugely more expensive rail fiasco.

On H-1 there will still likely be traffic jams and accidents but smart car riders will get to eat, sleep, read, watch videos, etc., in an air-conditioned vehicle with a comfortable personal seat with a few commuter friends. Private industry Smart Car/Van operators will offer electronic coupons, and many incentives to attract riders, including a cost breakdown showing how their service is still cheaper and more convenient than the combined costs of operating a vehicle every day for commuting.

Larger Hawaii corporations will likely offer self-driving vehicle services to their employees as a very popular employment benefit. Daily home to office commutes will be extremely popular and a time to sleep, read or talk with coworkers.

Hawaii military DoD will likely contract self-driving vehicle services for active duty military and base workers. This will become a booming private industry with or without a DoD subsidy.

Those private industry Smart Car/Van operators will find the right mix of customers just as clothing stores and restaurants determine exactly the style and tastes their customers want and are willing to pay for. This is why the private industry "On Demand Transit" model will be superior in every way - including safety checked vehicles with low insurance rates automatically paying highway toll fees and taxes to the State.

TV’s Knight Rider‘s concepts of AI and autonomous vehicles were science-fiction in the 1980s and are now a science fact. Popular internet, social media, movies, TV will drive the self-driving vehicle phenomena forward backed by ad budgets.

Malaysia Has Electric Buses Running On Elevated Fixed Guideways

Malaysia Shows Honolulu Rail Guideways can be converted to Electric Bus Guideways

An Electric bus BRT system is far more versatile and part of the rapidly expanding 21st Century

Smart Electric Vehicle Era. Cities throughout the world are looking at electric buses as the best overall investment because they can be run anywhere, unlike fixed rail, and solar powered. HART Rail will require enormous electric power infrastructure and a massive power bill on top of annual Operations and Maintenance costs.

Malaysian elevated Bus Guideways also used for annual marathon event

The Malaysian Sunway BRT system has received a Bronze rating by BRT Standard score from Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP)

RAIL is 19th Century, Smart Electric Buses Are 21st Century

After 2020, all new bus purchases will be electric

Across the US West Coast region, the effort to electrify buses has hit the fast lane. Long Beach Transit shows off their new line of battery-electric buses which are lighter, quieter, and more eco-friendly.

In a recent interview, Long Beach Transit Chief Executive Kenneth McDonald said he wants to have an entirely clean fleet by 2020.

Tesla’s former finance director, Ryan Popple, 39, made it a personal crusade to  revamp Proterra, focusing it on building electric buses. Sales more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, with expectations of revenues tripling in 2017, Popple said.

Popple predicts that by 2025, every transit agency in the United States and many in Europe and Asia will convert to all-electric buses. France, England, India and China are already doing so, with China at nearly 50 percent electric today.

“Our country has an uncertain future if we don’t transition well to this next technology,” Popple said. “If we don’t master this technology we will import this technology.”

The next month or so could determine the future of electric buses in Southern California. That’s because many of these companies are competing for a huge contract from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to buy electric buses.

King County Metro in Seattle released a report last week saying it can run a 100 percent electric bus fleet by 2034 for only minimal cost increases. With 1,400 buses on the roads — many of them electric trolley buses — it is the second-largest transit agency on the West Coast. The agency announced it will buy120 battery-electric buses by 2020 with the first 72 from Proterra.

Hawaii Gov Ige Sold On Smart Electric Vehicles - Invited Google To Make Hawaii A Testing Base, Provide Jobs

The Governor Ige went to California to visit Google and is sold on Smart Electric Vehicles for Hawaii's future- as is everyone else with any brains to see where everything is headed by 2020. Tesla stock skyrocketing. Everyone is introducing Smart Electric Vehicles. It's the 21st Century, not 19th Century.

Hawaii looks to take the lead in race toward driverless cars

Clean Disruption - Why Energy & Transportation will be Obsolete by 2030

China, Europe drive shift to electric cars as U.S. lags

Smart Electric Buses Are The Transit Future.

Smart Electric Buses Are The Transit Future.

HART Rail will NOT be “Green” as claimed – it will be oil based power

One of the biggest issues the rail hasn’t come to grips with is the massive traction power requirements of heavy elevated rail running 24/7, 20 hours a week. It can’t be done using solar or wind power. Alternative “palm oil” substitutes are 30 times more expensive than regular oil which is at near rock bottom prices and falling because the entire transportation industry model is leaving oil behind. HART Rail will require imported OIL.

Projected Rail Ridership Numbers Are Clearly FALSE

Rail officials projected that rail fares would cover approximately a third of operating costs, but that’s extremely optimistic. They predicted 116,000 daily riders in 2030, which works out to about 5,800 riders per mile. That’s more than the number of riders per mile carried by the Chicago Transit Authority, Atlanta’s MARTA, or the San Francisco BART system–and considerably more than carried by heavy-rail lines in Baltimore, Cleveland, and Miami.

No TOD without Rail – False

Honolulu has one of the best used bus systems in the country, and the extremely high costs of the rail will lead to cannibalization of that bus system. The best thing Honolulu can do is stop spending money on the endless back hole rail project and go back to running an excellent bus system with Bus Rapid Transit Transit Oriented Development. (BRT-TOD)

Included in the Mayor’s testimony on SB1276: “Rail is the ‘Transit’ in Transit-Oriented Development. There is no TOD without rail and we need TOD to provide workforce housing.” This is totally untrue as most cities in the world which build TOD’s around Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or with at grade light rail trams. Any place with a bus stop or central bus transfer point is basically a Transit Oriented Development. Nothing prevents work force housing NOW without RAIL TOD and it could be done easily with BRT TOD’s using buses or trams. Actually Caldwell really wants TOD real estate deals to reward his campaign contributors and could really care less how long rail takes. Jacobs Engineering says in the PMOC that it will likely be 2026-27 if ever.

Poor Rushed Rail Construction Will Cost Huge Future Maintenance Fees

Bad, rushed rail construction pushed by the City to create a sense that “we can’t stop now” caused widespread poor contractor work on the WOFH (West Oahu) columns and railway supports. WOFH contractor Kiewit later agreed to replace the critical railway support “cost saving” plastic shims – with more plastic shims which substitute for reliable and durable concrete plinths. This means that in five years and before the railway actually goes into service the plastic shims will be going bad and will need to be replaced AGAIN. The use of plastic was a cost saving PR scheme at the time to sound good, but rail should have used concrete plinths for permanent durability. Just another big expensive O&M cost coming up later before rail even officially runs- in 2025-27?

There will someday be a major rail disaster because of using plastic shims to keep elevated rail cars from toppling over the guideway after a derailment. PLASTIC is no way to run a railroad that runs night and day. HART has already approved $265 million in change orders to Kiewit/Kobayashi for the first 10 miles of guideway so taxpayers are already paying for it with much more change orders to come based on low ball bids. HART will have a future bad accident as a result and this will give Honolulu rail a badly constructed unreliable reputation.

Rail Will Be Of No Use In A Major Emergency

Rail won’t help when emergency services are needed. A bus way lane allows emergency vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, and police to use it unimpeded during rush hour and provide lifesaving access that rail cannot and never will. In fact electrically powered rail is highly vulnerable to storm power loss and will be one of the very first transportation systems shut down during a major hurricane or tsunami. Once rail station access points are flooded and rail platforms are hit by high winds they will be evacuated and useless. Buses are far more flexible in natural emergencies and will continue to operate evacuating thousands of people mauka.  

Buses and cars will be far more preferable than rail, now and in the future

HART Rail is basically obsolete technology, circa 1890, while far more efficient, practical and convenient autonomous cars and buses are coming very soon, with rides arranged through smart phone apps. All the smart investment money is going there – Google, Apple, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Uber, Lyft, etc. Cities are switching to less expensive electric buses which can be charged for 150 miles using solar power. HART Rail will require continuous high demand electrical traction power supplies that will skyrocket in cost, especially in warmer weather.  

Commuting on TheBus from Ewa Beach to downtown can typically take 50 minutes NOW. Taking a bus to a rail station and then a bus again and repeating that twice a day will be more expensive, exhausting and time consuming. This is why the vast majority of commuters on Oahu, who don’t live like people in New York, will look to any and all other transit systems that don’t require this insanity. Destroying the best bus system in America and forcing bus riders onto trains will only make everyone angry at how really stupid and fraudulent the whole rail concept is (Rail isn’t even ready and everyone is already coming to that conclusion.)  

Rail requires too many bus-rail transfers for acceptable travel times- currently local City bus service is faster and better that rail will ever be. Low income riders pay much more each way in lost time at home as well as through the regressive taxation stealing every dime they make to survive. HART Rail is a cruel social injustice and making it forever is totally mean and vicious. That’s because Operations and Maintenance IS FOREVER.

Also huge FOREVER electric bills while Smart Electric vehicles will be running on solar power.

Rail will take nearly 10-15 years to become operational because of many, many bad planning, funding and design issues. The public was lied to. The existing financial “plan” is a disaster, getting worse with future higher O&M costs. The new rail cars are already found to be defective and need replacement while the cracking guideway is also badly defective, a dangerous accident waiting to happen with plastic shims needing replacement in just 5 to 10 years.  

Meanwhile Honolulu Oahu has potholed roads which are not being repaired, water mains and sewer lines that break almost daily flooding streets and beaches with mud and sewage, badly maintained park facilities and a constantly failing City zoo. The City has a very bad Operations and Maintenance record. No one believes rail will be any different or any better.

21st Technology Rapidly Passing 19th Century HART Rail Scheme

Rail will cost more in environmental impacts that will cars on H-1. The fossil and non-renewable fuels to generate rail electric power is far more polluting because it will require non-renewable oil and gas. Solar power can be stored and charge electric cars and buses overnight to run 150 miles all day while rail cannot use solar power because of the huge amount of constant traction power required on the massive night and day operations needed by rail cars, energized guideway, platforms and support facilities that are NOT REQUIRED by electrically powered cars and buses running on roadways.

Rail Job Creation - Another Con Job

The public was promised “thousands” of rail jobs- “Each year during construction, the rail transit project will help generate an average of 10,000 jobs. “ (In fact, that’s still listed on HART’s website, As of June 2016, there were less than 2,000 direct local jobs. What actually happens is rail work crews, many hired from the mainland, just move along to the next construction segment. The “10,000” is actually just the same smaller work force. The City and HART are just lying as usual. Councilmember Kobayashi says the train hasn't delivered what was promised in terms of jobs. "First it was 17,000 jobs, then 10,000 and here we are at 1,300," said Councilmember Kobayashi.

Rail Proponents and HART website make false claims

It is claimed that rail lawsuits were the major reason why the HART project ran billions over budget. The truth is delay costs from litigation added up to approximately $78 million, according to HART officials. The bill for outside attorneys raised that by an additional $3 million, meaning the city and HART have incurred at least $81 million in costs related to litigation. The reason for litigation included the Hawaii Supreme Court finding in August 2012 that the city and state didn’t follow the law when it began building rail columns in West Oahu. The rail rush job mentality, rather than doing the rail project right, was caught by the law requiring identification and protection of Native Hawaiian burials along the rail line. Why was it not done previously?

The Federal lawsuit to stop rail gave the plaintiffs access to FTA’s internal email, which revealed intra-FTA concerns about the city’s “lousy practices of public manipulation,” Use of “inaccurate statements,” Culture of “never [having] enough time to do it right, but lots of time to do it over,” and an observation that the city had put itself in a “pickle” by setting unrealistic start dates for construction. Absolutely the way it was all done by City politicians who are arrogant.

False - Tourists Pay For Rail Caldwell and HART Website Claims

". . . funding the project with the general excise tax, which is effectively a sales tax, because roughly one-third of it comes from tourists." Caldwell. this is absolutely NOT TRUE and the true figure is less than 20%. The property tax on hotels and visitor tax could be raised so that tourists actually pay a one-third share of the rail cost. But THAT will never happen. Instead right now the local Oahu public through regressive taxation is paying at least 80% of the rail cost. This is documented fact from auditors.

Aloha Stadium should be the Oahu multi-modal Transit Oriented Development site where there are major highways, gathering places, military DoD, Historic sites, Ferry landing and nearby airport. This makes the most sense.

An Aloha Stadium multi-modal transit site is much more disaster resistant to floods, tsunamis, sea level rise. It has the best connections to all major highways on Oahu. A Washington State type Pearl Harbor Ferry could transport buses and vans from Lima Pier, West Loch across Pearl Harbor to ferry landings at Joint Base Pearl Harbor. (Plan details explain the traffic flow advantages.)

Not only would large numbers of JBPHH workers get to their jobs in 5-10 ten stress free minutes, it would work for Tripler, Fort Shafter and Camp Smith commuters.  Traffic flow on H-1 would increase tremendously and at a fraction of the now likely cost of rail at $5-700 Million
a mile, or around $12-16 Billion and take 10-15 years.

Just imagine "Aloha Transit Center" - there would be a lot of supportive press for that as well as State ledge support and the Gov would support it.

Middle Street is a boring place to get away from while a Aloha Transit Center would be a destination that used day and night and weekends. It could attract a lot of private development interest.

Aloha Stadium makes the most sense as the freeway and highway options are far better from there than Middle Street. The BRT bus ramps would work better there and allow far better connectivity with tour buses, cabs (uber, etc.) and Joint Base PH buses.

Middle Street will mean putting buses directly into the one of the worst H-1 merge points. Aloha Stadium would provide two freeway options as well as Pearl Harbor routes and H-2 Kailua-Kaneohe routes - all from one location. Pearl Harbor is a major job center and also a major tourism destination for tour buses. Aloha Transit Center would be the ideal TOD.

Aloha stadium has tons of parking and converting it as a transit center and TOD would far more practical with minimal traffic disruption. The old stadium is going away and it could become a new mixed sports complex
and outdoor concert venue. The State would willingly support that and highway funds could be better used complete all the hookups.

Aloha Stadium is also at a higher elevation and less likely for tsunami, storm surge and near term SLR. The site will have an attractive future

while Middle Street is a boring mid end industrial area.

The first 10 miles of rail guideway ends at Aloha Stadium. The practical and best option is to convert the rail guide way to a 2-lane HOV(2) Reversible Smart Electric vehicle - Busway from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium for less than $4 Billion already collected via GET. Express electric buses can CONTINUE on to downtown, Waikiki, or UH  and beyond using the H-1 Freeway/airport viaduct/Nimitz HOV lanes.  The two-lane reversible can be used for single passenger vehicles during non-peak hours.

The year 2030 downtown-bound commuter demand will be 15,000 commuters per hour ABOVE the existing highway capacity, according to the city’s Alternative Traffic Analysis.  The reversible can carry up to 17,000 commuters per hour (200 smart electric express buses and 3800 smart electric vehicles per hour) versus 3,000 RAIL commuters per hour.   The REVERSIBLE expressway will eliminate traffic gridlock at the H-1/H-2 merge.  New buses are 80% federally funded and would cost the city about $200,000 per bus or $40 million for 200 new buses.

Before Rail politicians killed it most West Oahu residents wanted a trans Pearl Harbor floating bridge or Ferry System 

John Bond

HART Rail Consulting Party