In a ceremony yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood signed an agreement that will provide $1.55 billion to the city and county of Honolulu to build Hawaii's first-ever transit-rail system.
"The Honolulu Rail Transit project, the first of its kind in the state, will bring new transit options to the growing region and create a modern transportation system that is built to last for future generations," LaHood said in a prepared statement.
The agreement commits federal dollars to the project, a 20-mile, 21-station rail line that will connect riders with education, employment and activity centers in Honolulu. The corridor will travel through West Oahu, Pearl City, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Honolulu International Airport, downtown Honolulu and Ala Moana Center.
The Federal Transit Administration will provide just under $1.8 billion in funds for the $5.1 billion project, including $1.55 billion through the New Starts program, $209.9 million in federal formula funds and $4 million in stimulus dollars.
At the signing ceremony, LaHood said the agreement is a testament to the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's (D-Hawaii) "tireless advocacy on behalf of his state and its people." A decorated World War II combat veteran and the U.S. Senate's longest-serving member, Inouye died Monday of respiratory complications. He was 88.
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