A panel of transit experts has chosen conventional rail as the preferred technology for Honolulu’s planned rapid transit system.

The panel on Friday voted to recommend rail over systems that would use rubber tires, magnetic levitation, or monorail technology. Among the reasons they cited were safety, speed capability, and the wide range of potential vendors available.

The city and county of Honolulu, which governs the entire island of Oahu, has been collecting an excise tax to finance the project since the beginning of 2007.

City officials hope to begin construction after completing environmental impact documentation for the project next year.

The planned project is expected to cost about $4 billion, and stretch 20 miles along the densely developed southern coast of Oahu, which experiences heavy traffic congestion. Honolulu officials are hoping for significant federal grant funding.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.