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Anthony Aalto Moves Forward in HART Board of Directors Appointment

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit

An investigative journalist may serve as the next Board member of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the organization tasked with constructing a multi-billion-dollar rail transit route from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.

The measure to appoint Anthony Aalto was adopted Tuesday by the Honolulu City Council’s Committee on Transportation, Sustainability and Health.

Aalto said he believes the rail will bring social equity to people living on the west side of Oʻahu. The rail will help them save on the cost and time spent on their commute.

He also said an electric rail is necessary to reach Hawaiʻi’s carbon negative goals by 2045, and an elevated track is needed to travel during flooding season.

As an investigative journalist and filmmaker, Aalto made several documentaries following the history of the rail project. He would commute to and from Leeward Oʻahu towards the end of the coronavirus lockdown to film his documentary.

Although he was driving in the opposite direction of the heavy traffic, he said it was still a nightmare.

"To endure that much commuting time, sitting in the car, the stress of traffic jams. And somehow we repeatedly forget about the people on the west side," he said to the city councilmembers.

Aalto will speak in front of the full Honolulu City Council in August.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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