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Rail News: Passenger Rail

FTA demands Honolulu transit agency to address funding shortfalls

The FTA's cost estimate for Honolulu's passenger-rail system is $134 million above the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's estimate.
Photo – Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has asked the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) to submit an updated recovery plan that addresses funding shortfalls for its more than $8 billion passenger-rail project.

In late June, the FTA sent a report to HART noting that the project is estimated to cost nearly $8.3 billion, which is $134 million above HART's own cost estimate.

The FTA had asked HART to revise its recovery plan to reflect that report's recommendations, FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams noted in a Sept. 21 letter obtained by Honolulu Civil Beat.

"HART's repeated difficulties with identifying cost savings or sufficient funding have led to significant, recurring project schedule delays and cost increases," Williams wrote.

The Honolulu agency has until late November to submit a recovery plan to the FTA. If HART fails to submit the plan, FTA may proceed with "remedies set forth" in the project's full funding grant agreement with the federal government.

The FTA in late 2012 agreed to provide $1.55 billion to the city and county of Honolulu for the passenger-rail system.

As part of the agreement, the FTA can demand the money back if the city is in default, Honolulu Civil Beat reported.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/27/2018