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The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will operate four-car trains for its new transit-rail system, officials announced late last week.HART Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Dan Grabauskas and his staff briefed the agency's board on Dec. 19, outlining the benefits of moving directly to a four-car configuration, according to HART’s weekly email."Longer trains with greater capacity will mean fewer people left waiting at the boarding platforms," said Grabauskas. "We will also see a cost savings of millions of dollars, and another $100,000 to $300,000 savings annually in operations and maintenance costs." Originally, HART officials planned to open the system with a two-car train configuration, eventually increasing to four-car trainsets. Stations and platforms already are designed to accommodate four-car trains. The added benefits to customers and cost savings prompted the decision to adopt a four-car configuration for the beginning of rail service, HART officials said.Other incentives to be derived from the four-car trains, including a 25 percent increase in seating and free Wi-Fi on trains, also are expected to boost ridership, Grabauskas added. The first half of the planned 20-mile system from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium is scheduled to open in 2017. The full Honolulu Rail Transit system from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center is slated to open in 2019.
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