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Transportation Secretary: Rail transit 'on the right path'

By Gene Park

LAST UPDATED: 1:53 p.m. HST, Mar 23, 2011


City officials are "on the right path" when it comes to planning for the $5.5 billion rail transit project, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said this morning.

LaHood and Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff arrived in Honolulu last night, and this morning met with Mayor Peter Carlisle, U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka, Congresswomen Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa, City Council members, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie. 

LaHood had nothing but praise for the project, and reaffirmed the federal government's commitment to it. 

"This is a jobs program," LaHood said. "This will put Hawaiians to work."

If there's any advice he has to city officials, he said it would be to "stay on course."

"They've done everything we've asked them to do," he said. "I have no doubt that if we continue to communicate and work with the folks here, this project will move forward, and the people will be the beneficiaries of it."

After this morning's meeting, LaHood and Rogoff toured state harbors with Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

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