POSTED: 11:03 a.m. HST, Nov 19, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 4:00 p.m. HST, Nov 19, 2012
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation will sign a full-funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration to provide $1.55 billion for the Oahu rail project, Hawaii’s congressional delegation announced today.
“This is an important step toward providing federal funding for the Honolulu Rail Transit project,” Sen. Daniel Inouye said in a news release. “We have discussed and debated the merits of a rail line on the island of Oahu for the majority of my time in the Congress ...”
It was not immediately said when the agreement will be signed. By law, the FTA is required to notify Congress 30 days before it signs a full funding grant agreement. Immediately after signing the agreement, the HART will receive $200 million in New Starts funding.
“This is the best holiday gift the citizens of Honolulu could possibly receive: the lean, clean, smart city of the future," said Mayor Peter Carlisle at a press conference this afternoon.
When asked by media what message he would send to rail opponents, Carlisle said, "Rail is on the way. We got the money. Get out of the way."
The entire project is scheduled to cost $5.26 billion and will run from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.
“I am so pleased that FTA and the city will be able to finalize the Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Honolulu rail project before my retirement,” Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is retiring when his term ends Jan. 3. “(The FTA) letter shows that federal government is confident the rail project is financially sound and has a realistic construction schedule.”