Embattled rail project clears key hurdle as HART seeks to re-gain ‘credibility’ with feds
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has cleared a key hurdle to securing federal funding for the city’s embattled rail project.
HART submitted its recovery plan to the Federal Transit Administration on Thursday night, a month before deadline.
The plan is needed in order for rail to receive the nearly $750 million federal money promised for the project.
To keep the overall cost under $10 billion, the recovery proposal shortens the route to the Civic Center and eliminates a proposed $330 million parking structure in Pearl City.
HART CEO Lori Kahikina says she’s confident this plan will be approved and help steer the project in the right direction.
“I think once this is approved, I’d like to think that it shows FTA has confidence in this new HART team and confidence that we’re gonna get this project done,” Kahikina said.
Mayor Rick Blangiardi echoed those sentiments saying that it’s crucial for the project to gain federal trust.
“I think our biggest goal right now is to create credibility with them,” Blangiardi said.
“When they approve this recovery plan, that will be a statement of the credibility we’ve worked for the last 17 months to retain because we didn’t have any of it when we started.”
Kahikina says HART is working toward starting trial runs in July with interim service beginning by the end of the year, given there are no issues in testing.
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