Letter for Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017

• Renewable transportation key to Hawaii’s future

Renewable transportation key to Hawaii’s future

I am a month-long visitor to the Garden Island who hopes to return annually in the coming years to visit my daughter and her family. Being from rural northern Wisconsin, I am enjoying the beauty and warmth of your homeland, but not your traffic and congestion, which is worse than I remember in my childhood growing up in Chicago! I read with interest the article in last week’s TGI “Bill aims for 100 percent renewable transportation,” and as an ardent environmentalist I hope your Legislature will adopt such a bill.

The oil industry has limited our transportation options for too long. Electric cars, buses and trains are a present reality, and Hawaii has renewable solar and wind energy galore. The U.S. is behind most countries in transportation innovation. Traveling cross country by train a few years ago, I couldn’t believe the poor state of our railroads. And most of our cities like Atlanta and Chicago are impossibly congested with six to 12 lanes of traffic and polluted from carbon waste. Therefore, I hope Hawaii does not opt for more lanes, losing beautiful landscape and gaining pollution.

Instead, Hawaii can lead the country with their bill for renewable transportation. A start could be to limit imports of combustion engine vehicles, allowing only electric cars and buses. Each county could issue tourists transportation passes for a fee, similar to Eurail Passes for trains. Counties could increase their electric cars/taxis and buses and add electric trains between cities/towns where feasible.

With today’s communication, Uber and taxis could be available for tourists so quickly that anyone could get a vehicle on short order and not need to rent or own a personal vehicle. It’s time to put an end to two (gas) cars in every U.S. garage. It’s time Hawaii led the renewable transportation movement by passing a bill for 100 percent renewable transportation. Go Hawaii.

Margaret Kolbek, Cumberland, Wisconsin


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