Monday, March 11, 2013

FTA releases $67.5 million to Honolulu rail project

 A rendering of the HART elevated guideway under construction in Honolulu. A rendering of the HART elevated guideway under construction in Honolulu. HART

The Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation (HART) received $67.5 million in federal funding for the rail project as part of a $1.55-billion grant agreement between HART and the Federal Transportation Authority.

The funds are part of $255 million in federal money currently available for the Honolulu rail transit project this fiscal year. The project to date has $320 million available in federal funds under the Full Funding Grant Agreement. That agreement, signed last December, guarantees the project a total of $1.55 billion during the next six years.

"This shows the continued commitment of our federal partners to providing Honolulu with a safe, reliable and efficient transportation alternative to some of the nation's worst traffic congestion," said HART CEO and Executive Director Dan Grabauskas. "These funds will be used to reimburse the project for design, engineering and other costs associated with building Oahu's 20-mile rail system."

The rail system includes 21 stations at key education, employment and retail destinations, including The University of Hawaii - West O'ahu, Leeward and Honolulu community colleges, Honolulu International Airport, Downtown Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and Ala Moana and Pearlridge shopping centers. The first 10 miles of the rail system from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium is expected to open in 2017, with the full 20-mile line opening in 2019.

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