Schatz secures $70M for rail in new COVID relief bill to keep project on track

Schatz secures $70M for rail in new COVID relief bill to keep project on track
The Oahu rail project is the state's largest public works project. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sen. Brian Schatz helped secure $70 million for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project in a provision part of the new federal COVID-19 relief bill.

The new federal funding will help the city pay for a portion of the rail project, covering tax revenue that was loss due to the pandemic.

Schatz said, “Our goal here was to help the city pay for part of its share by covering the loss in local tax revenue caused by the pandemic. This provides some relief, but HART and the city must still come up with a workable financial plan and get this project up and running for the people of Honolulu.”

As the new Chairman of Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Schatz worked with house leaders and pushed to include federal funding that would help the city make up for the tax loss and keep the rail project on track.

Schatz’s provision was included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that was passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday.

The Senate is expected to consider the House bill this week.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.