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Rail project in line for share of $510 million in federal funding

By Kevin Dayton

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:35 p.m. HST, Nov 29, 2011



Honolulu's rail transit project is eligible to receive a share of  $510 million in federal funds next year provided that the city is able to complete a critical full-funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration by the end of 2012.

The money is set aside for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project and "a small number of rail transit projects in other cities, that are also in the final stages of development," according to Sen. Daniel K. Inouye's office.

The financial plan for the rail project anticipates receiving $125 million in federal funding next year to cover construction and other costs.

"We are pleased to hear the news about the available federal funds," said Toro Hamayasu, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation interim executive director and CEO. "The project remains on track in terms of meeting the deadlines and guidelines in obtaining our Full-Funding Grant Agreement and we will continue to work hard to make that happen," he said in a press release.

"In addition, our GET revenue for the last two quarters has come in higher than we had projected, which positions us well to complete the project," Hamayasu continued.

The rail funding is among several Hawaii projects receiving funding in fiscal year 2012  under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, according to an announcement by Inouye, the Senate Committee on Appropriations chairman, and Sen. Daniel K. Akaka.

The Senate approved the Conference Report for the measure by a vote of 70 to 30, and President Barack Obama signed the report on H.R. 2112, according to the announcement.

The legislation includes the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bills, as well as a short-term Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through Dec. 16. 

Language in the measure specifies that funding "shall be available for preliminary engineering, final design, and construction of projects that receive a Full Funding Grant Agreement during calendar year 2012," according to the bill.






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Bumby wrote:
Is that all the funding for our rail project that will cost over 5 billion in today's dollars. By the time it is all said and done what will the federal funding be for the rail project? I do hope at least 25% to 40% of the total cost?
on November 29,2011 | 02:12PM
Anonymous wrote:
Just wondering what the republican controlled congress will do for hawaii... Hawaii Lawmakers should raise GET to 10% like all states with a rail system... For those who wanted rail in Hawaii - hope you can afford to ride it and then be able to buy something when you get there...
on November 29,2011 | 06:09PM
KeithHaugen wrote:
Thae handful of rail supporters can afford to ride it if it is built, but they don't live on the proposed rail route. The proposed fare will be many times higher than the present fare for TheBus,and the City has said they will raise TheBus fares to match the rail. Many, who will not be able to afford either will be forced to buy cars, further congesting our highways.
on November 29,2011 | 07:44PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
They can't afford a bus or a rail pass but they can afford to buy a car, pay for gas and pay for parking? Yeah, that makes sense.
on November 29,2011 | 09:34PM
haleiwalad1 wrote:
Hey folks, pay attention, there's plenty more in Federal funds that'll pretty much pay for Hawaii's light rail system. That's what your Federal elected officials can do for you!
on November 29,2011 | 02:22PM
SandBar wrote:
So out of touch.
on November 29,2011 | 06:35PM
smith2650 wrote:
Great....6% of $8 billion might come from the taxpayers (Feds). Try wait. I want to see the check before I count the chickens. The federal government is going to have to cut, cut, cut, and the money for Hawaii will be cut; count on it!
on November 29,2011 | 02:36PM
pakeheat wrote:
The super committee didn't do its job, now there are severe cuts in the Federal Budget, so do we expect to have this money available? Notice the first sentence, "ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE", not guaranteed, LOL.
on November 29,2011 | 02:41PM
saveparadise wrote:
BFD..... Is it only about money? Why do we dontinue to uglify our beautiful paradise by developing all remaining land and a valuable resource? It won't help us to provide any basic necessity that we need. Why then do we extend the precious aina? Is it only for money or an excuse for the rich man's convenience? Are we that easily bought?
on November 29,2011 | 02:50PM
inverse wrote:
Given the Feds are in debt for over $15 TRILLION, whether Obama gets re-elected or not, the Feds cannot and will NOT provide the promised $1.5 billion in federal funding to help pay for Oahu's rail. At best, tens of millions of dollars, which is chump change compared to the actual cost of around $7 BILLION for the Aloha train to nowhere, will be sent to Hawaii but no more. Even Inouye will not convince Republicans or even many of his own fellow democrats to pay out any appreciable amount to the rail project. AND when it becomes nationally known that Hawaii entered into a $1.5 BILLION contract with Italian company Ansaldo, knowing that this ITALIAN company is bankrupt and had ties with former Libyan dictator Moammar Ghaddafi, no US Congressman or US President for that matter, will back this project. The likelihood of success for major federal funding for the Oahu choo-choo train is about as good as Inouye, Hirono, Hanabusa and Akaka getting the Akaka bill passed in Congress.
on November 29,2011 | 03:21PM
atilter wrote:
so how much of this $510M be left to repair and maintain this "project"?? i anticipate that all or most of it will be used up to pay off "up-front contracts" and consultants' fees - even before the choo-choo begins to roll! HOW MUCH OF OUR CHILDRENS' FUTURE ARE WE WILLING TO BET THAT THIS WHITE ELEPHANT WILL REQUIRE MORE AND MORE TO KEEP RUNNING?? the ridership will never, never be enough!! this "pig" will eat up more of our taxes into which everyone contributes to BENEFIT ONLY A FEW!!! i await someone - anyone - to provide details to prove me wrong!! i don't want to hear hyperbol or puffery pulled out of a metal beannie!!! i want to see actual numerical data based upon present facts - not some projected future "maybe's"! PLEASE!!!!
on November 29,2011 | 03:28PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Ah so desu ka. So that whole deal with "investigating" Ansaldo was just to avoid any delay that might risk the $125 million? Like if Ansaldo was seen as a risk they might have to choose one of the other guys or start over with a new RFP and then it would be too late for the grant. I see...we got scammed so that HART wouldn't get blamed for losing out on Federal funds. But this is only $125 million so where the heck is that $1.55 BILLION? I don't see any promises about that yet. Did HART sell us down the river for only $125 million?
on November 29,2011 | 04:11PM
Pukele wrote:
The city is positioning themselves so that you and I will pay more and more taxes to pay for rail. We will not be able to say no to more and more taxes because of the amount already spent. Too expensive to fail is the city goal. They have no business committing to large contracts with so few details know about the true expense and funding of the project. The press and the City Council have let the taxpayers down by just repeating the PR put out by the city and not asking tough questions.
on November 29,2011 | 04:38PM
Changalang wrote:
Heavy Rail will feel a lot lighter with Federal Funding for the Oahu taxpayer. The lawsuit from the big four can definitely succeed is suspending Federal funding, but only that. We must not delude ourselves with the assumption that the project will not continue without Federal funding. It will. Look into your HART and seek the truth. Oahu will pay for ALL or MOST of the project with or without Federal funds. The contract is signed. Now; all anti-rail and rail supporters unite in making Federal funding occur. It is always better to experience 20% less pain. Time to get together for the greater good. It's over. Jobs now; for Hawaii, buy Hawaii. Time for both sides to man up, shake hands, and start taking care of each other. That will make it easier for everybody. A HUI HOU KAKOU
on November 29,2011 | 04:41PM
polekasta wrote:
um, Hawaii isn't getting $510 million from the Feds. It says Hawaii Might get a share of $510 million. How much is a share of the $510 million?
on November 29,2011 | 04:46PM
pj737 wrote:
Bend waaaaaaaaaaaay over, Oahu. Start saving all your money starting today so you can pay for the enormous tax increases that will be required to fund this special interest disaster. I hope you all can touch your toes....
on November 29,2011 | 05:22PM
Geb wrote:
Geez, I hope the have the decency to use lubricant. Probably not. Ouch.
on November 29,2011 | 05:41PM
KeithHaugen wrote:
Sounds very "IFY" and more of the Mayor's smoke and mirrors. Every day, we get deeper in debt, all because of a railroad to nowhere, a proposed train that the public/voters/taxpayers/residents don't want, won't use if it is built and can't afford. What is the Mayor doing to us?
on November 29,2011 | 07:41PM
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