Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series exploring land ownership near Honolulu’s proposed 20-mile elevated rail line. The data for the series was produced for Civil Beat by Hawaii Information Service, a public records and real estate data firm.

More than half of the nearly 300,000 different parcels on the entire island of Oahu are within two miles of a rail station, showing just how many Honolulu residents could potentially benefit from the train.

An analysis of real estate data performed for Civil Beat shows 54.7 percent of the 289,248 parcels in the City and County of Honolulu are that close — perhaps about 10 minutes on a bike or just a couple minutes in a car. The distance was measured as the crow flies from the midpoint of each parcel to the nearest station.

Distance to Station in Miles Total Parcels At Least This Close Percent At Least This Close
0.3 18,560 6.4%
0.5 33,083 11.4%
0.7 52,808 18.3%
1 119,901 41.4%
2 158,259 54.7%
3 179,449 62%
5 206,678 71.5%
10 267,895 92.6%
All Parcels 289,248 100%

Source: Hawaii Information Service

It’s a surprising statistic because the rail line covers just one small corner of Oahu. It was the island’s narrow geography in that corridor between the ocean and the mountains that became the city’s main rationale for the transit system. Considering Oahu is nearly 600 square miles, it’s not intuitive that so many parcels would be so close to a narrow 20-mile line.

(The image attached to this story illustrates the concentric rings around the rail line. It should be noted that the image measures distance from the rail line, not individual rail stations.)

That’s undoubtedly because some areas in both the Koolau and Waianae mountain ranges are uninhabitable, and because rural areas on the Waianae Coast, the North Shore and the Windward side are low-density and have comparatively fewer parcels than the developed regions.

The numbers are perhaps a bit skewed because condominium property regimes (CPR) — condo units and a handful of apartment buildings — are counted as parcels. Of course, more units mean more people, but counting CPRs does mean the downtown Honolulu and Waikiki areas could be adding to the numbers with residents who are less likely to take the train out toward Kapolei than those who need to commute into town.

But even when excluding the 125,861 CPR parcels, the numbers are still impressive. More than 40 percent of all non-CPR parcels are within two miles of a station.

Distance to Station in Miles
(No CPRs)
Total Parcels At Least This Close
(No CPRs)
Percent at Least This Close
(No CPRs)
0.3 4,115 2.5%
0.5 9,229 5.6%
0.7 15,482 9.5%
1 45,085 27.6%
2 66,635 40.8%
3 84,510 51.7%
5 101,280 62%
10 149,341 91.4%
All Parcels (no CPRs) 163,387 100%

Source: Hawaii Information Service

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