Friday, June 29, 2012

HART requests $1.55 billion in New Starts funding

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation submitted a request for $1.55 billion in federal New Starts funding for the Honolulu rail transit project.

"We have reached an important milestone," said HART CEO and Executive Director

Dan Grabauskas. "Today is the culmination of nearly seven years of hard work by many dedicated individuals who have helped to move our rail transit project forward."

The Honolulu rail project has already received $120 million in federal funding that goes toward the requested $1.55 billion.

After receiving Honolulu's FFGA request, the Federal Transit Administration will take approximately 30 days to review it before forwarding the request to the Office of Management and Budget at the White House for its own 30-day review.

From there, the FTA will inform Congress of its intent to sign the agreement as part of a 60-day notification process. The completed agreement is expected to be finalized later this year.

Along with the FFGA request, HART provided FTA officials with an updated financial plan and other documents that include the scope, schedule and budget for the rail project. The new financial plan provides updated figures from the previous financial plan published in September 2011.

The new June 2012 project financial plan shows the following:

· The total estimated project cost decreasing from $5.17 billion to $5.16 billion.

· The GET revenue projection was adjusted to reflect actual collections, which resulted in an increase from $3.15 billion to $3.29 billion. The state began collecting the half-percent GET surcharge for the Honolulu rail system in January 2007. The GET for rail is set to expire at the end of 2022.

· The cash surplus at project completion increased from $83 million to $193 million.

· In accordance with the FTA guidelines and HART's projected financial plan, the contingency reserve was reduced to 15 percent of the project's cost.

· Use of estimated FTA Section 5307 formula funds for the project decreased from $244 million to $210 million.

"We remain on plan in terms of both revenue and overall project costs and we are on schedule to receive a decision on the FFGA by the end of the year," said HART

Board's Finance Committee Chairman Don Horner.

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