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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lingle rejects poll favoring rail EIS

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Gov. Linda Lingle

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Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday dismissed the findings of a People's Pulse survey indicating that more than two-thirds of residents oppose conducting another rail-transit study, calling the question used in the survey "poorly worded and misleading" and questioning the credibility of the survey's sponsors.

"The vested interest shared by the People's Pulse Survey co-sponsors Hawai'i Business Roundtable and Pacific Resources Partnership resulted in a poorly worded and misleading survey question," Lingle said in a news release.

Lingle noted that the question did not acknowledge her legal obligation to review and approve the Honolulu rail project's final environmental impact statement, which is awaiting release from the Federal Transit Authority.

The release also reiterated Lingle's intention to conduct an independent analysis of the city's financial plan for its $5.3 billion rail system.

The survey question read:

The City and County of Honolulu last year has already spent $3 to $5 million on an environmental impact statement for the fixed rail mass-transit project. The EIS was submitted to the Federal Transit Authority last year. Now the state says it wants to do its own audit of the mass transit's financial plan. Overall, which do you favor?

• Making a decision on a fixed rail-transit system based on the current EIS

• Having the state commission a new study on transit's financial plan

• Don't know

According to the survey, 67 percent of residents favored making a decision based on the current EIS; 22 percent wanted a new study; and 11 percent did not know.

The poll was conducted by OmniTrak Group Inc.

Correction: A previous version of this story about Gov. Linda Lingle's response to the People's Pulse survey should have attributed comments from a press release to Senior Adviser of Communications Lenny Klompus.