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12/1/2011



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Federal funds available for Honolulu Rail Transit project, Sen. Inouye says


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On Tuesday, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) announced the Honolulu Rail Transit project is eligible to share an allocation of $510 million in federal funds next year if the city and county of Honolulu and Federal Transit Administration sign a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) by 2012’s end.

The rail funding is available after President Obama signed the Conference Report on H.R. 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, said Inouye in a prepared statement. The money set aside for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project, and a small number of transit-rail projects in other cities, represent a continuing federal commitment to the project, he said.

“Federal funds are hard to come by in the current budget climate and Honolulu has an opportunity to secure substantial federal support for this long-awaited project designed to help alleviate traffic on Oahu,” said Inouye.

Governed by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), the $5.5 billion Honolulu Rail Transit project calls for building a 20-mile, 21-station elevated light-rail system connecting East Kapolei with Ala Moana Center.

HART officials expressed gratitude about the available federal funds for the project. Honolulu is a strong candidate for the appropriation, said HART Interim Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Toru Hamayasu in a prepared statement.

“This underscores the fact that both Congress and the White House recognize the importance of rail transit as a green, effective and efficient transportation option during these tight economic times,” he said. “The project remains on track in terms of meeting the deadlines and guidelines in obtaining our [FFGA] and we will continue to work hard to make that happen."


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