HART responds to possible council resolution calling for it to be dissolved

HART responds to possible council resolution calling for it to be dissolved

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is questioning the timing of a proposed city council resolution calling for it to be eliminated.

The resolution by council chair Ikaika Anderson would ask voters to amend the city charter to eliminate HART. The city’s Department of Transportation Services would take over responsibilities of overseeing the controversial rail project.

HART Executive Director Andrew Robbins said the proposal comes as it awaits federal approval of its latest recovery plan for the project.

“The recovery plan is written from the perspective of HART managing the project," said Robbins. "So if this resolution were to pass and the management transfers back to the city, that would be a significant change in the way the project is managed.”

Robbins said the resolution could also impact work to develop public-private partnerships to build the rail segment between Middle Street and Ala Moana Center. He also said it could make it difficult for HART to attract and hire personnel.

Anderson said the resolution is not meant to be a referendum on rail. He said he wanted to give voters a chance to decide whether to give elected officials direct oversight and responsibility on the project.

Anderson said he will introduce the resolution on Monday. If approved by the city council, voters would decide on the November 2020 ballot.

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