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Rail project loses $14 million in sequestration cuts

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:32 a.m. HST, Apr 11, 2013

Honolulu's rail project will receive $14 million less in federal dollars this year than anticipated due to budget sequestration cuts, officials announced today.

The project will get $236.2 million for 2013 instead of the agreed-upon $250 million — a 5.6 percent reduction, Honolulu Authority for Rail Transportation CEO Dan Grabauskas said during a joint HART-Oahu Transit Services board meeting.

Federal Transit Administration officials had signaled there could be some sort of sequestration-related cut in the 2013 funding, but that it would be made up in subsequent years of its six-year, 1.55-billion funding agreement with HART.  Grabauskas said it's not clear yet when that $14 million will be made up.

“Cuts are never good news,” Grabauskas said, but the 5.6 percent reduction is "one we can absolutely live with in terms of cash flow this year.”

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