Thursday, June 07, 2012

Additional funding safeguard approved for HART rail project

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A bill establishing a method for short-term borrowing as a safeguard for Honolulu's rail project was approved Wednesday, clearing the way for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to secure $1.55 billion in federal funding.

The City Council voted seven to two to approve Bill 37, which allows the city to issue up to $450 million in commercial funding. Establishing the additional safeguard is a requirement of the Federal Transit Administration to ensure the project's completion.

"This is great news for Honolulu and clears the way for us to secure $1.55 billion in federal funds. With the strong support we have of our congressional delegation and from the FTA, we are confident we will receive the full amount in federal funds," said Dan Grabauskas, executive director and CEO of HART. "We are grateful for the council's support of the project. It keeps us on track and moves us closer to providing relief from the traffic gridlock our community is forced to endure every day."

"The passage of Bill 37 is a milestone achievement, which enables the city to meet federal FTA requirements for receipt of our Full Funding Grant Agreement," said Council Transportation Committee Chair Breene Harimoto. "Today's action clearly confirms the city council's support for the rail project."

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