Local Connection: Something Different With Rail

Local Connection: Something Different With Rail

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For many years it could be said that the city and the rail board were following a well-known definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

But now, HART is trying something new for Hawaii. And if it works, it could finally put an end to the uncertainty over how much the system will finally cost.

Last week, HART CEO Andrew Robbins overcame the doubters — who even included the mayor for awhile — to get the board to approve a public-private partnership to build the last third of the project and operate and maintain the system once it’s running.

This is not a new idea in the rest of the world, but for Hawaii it upends decades of “low-bid” thinking, which is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Not only should this process get the system built on time and within the current budget, it could prevent surprises for years because the operating and maintenance costs will be capped.

Hopefully this new process will reassure the federal government that Honolulu knows what it is doing and en+ds that part of the drama as well.

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