Outgoing HART CEO reflects on a rocky tenure and why he’s optimistic about rail’s future

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 5:08 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of Andy Robbins’ regrets is that he won’t be with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation when the rail system begin its interim service next year.

The rail authority’s outgoing CEO, whose contract was not renewed by the HART board, will leave next week. Six months later, trains will start shuttling the first passengers between West Oahu and Halawa.

“I look forward to being one of those passengers riding on the system,” he said.

During Robbins’ tenure at HART, the project hit big milestones, most notably the construction of the project up to Halawa and into Kalihi. He’s especially proud of the newest station, which will carry passengers headed to Pearl Harbor and to the site of a redeveloped Aloha Stadium.

“With the new stadium, there’s going to be housing and entertainment. It’s going to be unbelievable to have a station like this, right here, I think is a game changer,” he said.

But also with Robbins at the helm, the rail project has hit roadblock after roadblock.

The price tag for rail has soared and the date for completion pushed back.

Robbins gave the media a tour of the rail system’s Halawa Station Wednesday, as construction crews applied finishing touches.

“As you can see it’s largely complete,” said Frank Kosich, HART’s director of engineering and construction, who noted that the station’s exterior will include designs with the famous landmarks nearby in mind.

“The block, the tiles, the color of it ― just the overall aesthetic ― was coordinated with (the Navy and the National Parks Service) to ensure that we were respectful of the place.”

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.