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Committees approve $250 million for Honolulu rail project

By Marcel Honore

mhono

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:24 p.m. HST, Jun 27, 2013


Honolulu’s rail project will receive its full federal funding share of $250 million for 2014, under a deal reached today by the House and Senate Appropriations Committee.

The agreement came the same day the Senate approved former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the nation’s new Transportation Secretary, replacing outgoing secretary Ray LaHood.

In statements to Hawaii lawmakers, Foxx has pledged to work to complete the rail project.

“I am happy with the progress we have made today,” Sen. Brian Schatz said in a written statement. “Honolulu made an important decision to build rail transit, and it is the federal government’s responsibility to ensure that this transit system receives full federal funding in order to move forward.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono also praised the deal. “In these difficult economic times, when decisions about federal funding remain highly competitive, these actions by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees demonstrate that support for Honolulu’s rail project remains solid,” she said in a statement.

The funding represents the “single largest grant of any new start-ups project” in federal appropriations, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Executive Director Dan Grabauskas said.

Last year, prior to the rail project receiving its full funding grant agreement from the federal government, the House Appropriations Committee included only $100 million in its appropriations, and rail officials had to fight for the project’s full share, Grabauskas said.

The funding will come as rail officials plan to resume construction on the 20-mile rail line – and project spending is expected to accelerate significantly.

Federal transit officials last year agreed to a six-year, $1.55 billion funding agreement with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

The project received $14 million less in federal dollars than anticipated for 2013 because of budget sequestration cuts. However, federal officials have said that shortfall would be made up in later years.






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etalavera wrote:
GO RAIL GO!
on June 27,2013 | 12:19PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
This criminal enterprise will be stopped in Federal Court in August. Stay tuned!
on June 27,2013 | 12:51PM
Anonymous wrote:
keep the printing presses printing money that is already worthless in many countries...$250 million is peanuts compared to the total cost of maintaining the rail once it is built...
on June 27,2013 | 12:56PM
OldDiver wrote:
Yup, I expect the criminal enterprise will get the butts thrown out of court and the building of rail will proceed shortly after.
on June 27,2013 | 02:21PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
wanna bet?
on June 27,2013 | 04:58PM
ukuleleblue wrote:
Rail projects always are opposed when planned but never regretted after they are built. Go Rail go!
on June 27,2013 | 10:47PM
what wrote:
250 million is not enough, not even close. H-3 was 90% paid for by Federal money, but Rail is only getting 25% to 30% paid by Federal money. And when the cost overruns comes, all of that will come from Oahu taxpayer pockets. Bend over Honolulu, here it comes!
on June 27,2013 | 02:24PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
What, those ultra rich in Kakaako, and Ritz Carlton are running over each other to get their shot at this expansion. Putting down millions! So do they know something that you don't?they want Rail. They want to put in their taxes.
on June 27,2013 | 02:40PM
Kuniarr wrote:
What's this baloney "they want rail,NB? The ultra rich and the wealthy do not take public transportation - either bus or train. They ride chauffeur-driven limousines.
on June 27,2013 | 07:35PM
Rite80 wrote:
Relax, the federal money is coming in increments. The state has already received over $200 million.
on June 27,2013 | 02:40PM
matsuyama wrote:
I think you misunderstand. Even after we receive all the increments, it will add up to less than 30 percent.
on June 27,2013 | 09:18PM
false wrote:
Shhhh....don't tell anybody that.
on June 27,2013 | 04:05PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
But according to Anonymous, the final tab will be printing pressed money. So no worries,yeah.
on June 27,2013 | 02:37PM
allie wrote:
yup
on June 27,2013 | 03:27PM
Pocho wrote:
scary
on June 27,2013 | 04:25PM
hybrid1 wrote:
There will be an expedited hearing from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in order that (Oahu taxpayers) will have a decision before the City could begin construction (on the Honolulu Rail) in September. ...........The Federal Transit Administration (and City) had already filed an objection to the appeal but the Court dismissed the FTA's objections............... The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has set August 15, 2013 as the date for oral arguments in our appeal of Judge A. Wallace Tashima's rulings in our federal case against the City and the Federal Transit Administration. .......Honolulutraffic.com.
on June 27,2013 | 03:17PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
stay tuned!
on June 27,2013 | 04:59PM
allie wrote:
not nearly enough money to build the contraption
on June 27,2013 | 03:27PM
Skyler wrote:
Haven't heard that word for years... contraption. Money-pit noisy eyesore contraption is more like it.
on June 27,2013 | 07:55PM
aomohoa wrote:
HOw old did you say you are? The word contraption is something a 75 yr old would use???
on June 27,2013 | 08:48PM
Skyler wrote:
Not that old!
on June 28,2013 | 12:24AM
loquaciousone wrote:
You mean the federal money is still not here?
on June 27,2013 | 12:24PM
loquaciousone wrote:
If they can build a rail station that looks like the drawing, why don't we have any bus stations now that even come close to looking like that apparition that SA keeps pimping to readers?
on June 27,2013 | 12:45PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Lot of room still between $250 million and $1.55 Billion.
on June 27,2013 | 12:39PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Drop in the bucket and it will cost much much more than $1.5 billion.
on June 27,2013 | 12:41PM
loquaciousone wrote:
If they can build a rail station that looks like the drawing, why don't we have any bus stations now that even come close to looking like that apparition that SA keeps peemping to readers?
on June 27,2013 | 12:45PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
If rail s about transit oriented development, how come there are no buildings around the rail station drawings?
on June 27,2013 | 01:42PM
OldDiver wrote:
I believe there are. I think you meant the models.
on June 27,2013 | 02:23PM
false wrote:
Not ....they're all in Kakaako bro.
on June 27,2013 | 04:07PM
pridon wrote:
Unlike bus depots, rail will have a pottie. However only one per rail station. Gng to get smellie in the corners.
on June 27,2013 | 01:50PM
loquaciousone wrote:
All stations have potties. They're called bushes.
on June 27,2013 | 02:11PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Wah,wah,wah,wah. No potties, what else, oh homeless, and what else, ah, druggies and rapist, oh and? Graffitti and the sky going fall! Yeah.
on June 27,2013 | 02:43PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Table boss
on June 27,2013 | 03:08PM
false wrote:
Nanakuliboss: and you get paid to write this drivel?
on June 27,2013 | 03:23PM
Skyler wrote:
NB must have the same boss as .... heh. Nah, nah that would be insulting to our fairy Mandan princess. ;-)
on June 27,2013 | 07:57PM
false wrote:
Whoa, you going pop one artery brag! ! No worries every thing looking good for the rail the feds said ok to the funds. What could go wrong?
on June 27,2013 | 04:13PM
hybrid1 wrote:
.With 64 seats, the two-car trains supposedly have room for 254 standing passengers.............But that’s at “crush capacity,” which is far more crowded than Americans are willing to accept....................... Assuming the city increases the seating to 76 seats, actual loads are likely to be limited to a total of about 150 to 200 people per train................... At a maximum of 20 trains an hour in each direction, the line will be able to move about 3,000 to 4,000 people per hour inbound in the morning and a similar number outbound in the afternoon...........................................Also, The year 2030 West Oahu eastbound commuter DEMAND is 15,000 people per peak hour above the existing highway capacity according to the City's Alternative Analysis. .. The reckless $7 Billion rail carries only 3,000 people per hour (70% Standees) so this leaves a shortfall of 11,000 west Oahu commuters per hour which will still need transportation to downtown via H-1 freeway, Moanalua Hwy and Kam hwy.
on June 27,2013 | 03:21PM
false wrote:
Good post but I think you're way ahead of yourself at 2030? Will the rail last?
on June 27,2013 | 04:17PM
mikethenovice wrote:
The government is mum on this. I'm glad you are posting this.
on June 27,2013 | 07:25PM
aomohoa wrote:
Let's just hope by then we have a well developed "2nd city" that supports more of the work force.
on June 27,2013 | 08:16PM
allie wrote:
yikes...you mean we girls have to squat?
on June 27,2013 | 03:28PM
false wrote:
Thick ones real thick ones.
on June 27,2013 | 04:10PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Road in disrepair. Sewer system in disrepair. Water system in disrepair. Government pension/medical benefit funds underfunded. Unions keep asking for more pay and benefits. Rail needs to be funded. How the heck are we going to pay for all of this?
on June 27,2013 | 01:09PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Dag,as soon as rail comes, less road damage because of less cars. Less sewer damage because less cars and trucks pounding the pavement. When the pendulum swings the other way in favor of mass transit, we will be better off.
on June 27,2013 | 02:47PM
false wrote:
nanakuliboss: What a joke. Less cars so the roads won't wear down? Your blind devotion to rail dogma borders on hilarious.
on June 27,2013 | 03:29PM
DAGR81 wrote:
How the heck are we going to pay for all of this?
on June 27,2013 | 04:29PM
mikethenovice wrote:
99% State tax rate.
on June 27,2013 | 07:26PM
aomohoa wrote:
You know very well that the rail will take a very small % of people off the H1.
on June 27,2013 | 08:18PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
we aren't thats the problem - its a true scam and criminal enterprise!
on June 27,2013 | 05:00PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The tsunami of taxes that the City will dip into the pockets of property owners of Oahu to finance Rail is yet to come.

Today, until December 31, 2022 when the GET surcharge expires, is the calm before the Tsunami of taxes coming from Rail will hit the taxpayers of Oahu.

First wave of the Tsunami from Rail hitting taxpayers would be the GO bonds issued to finance rail construction not covered by the GET surcharge. The second wave of the Tsunami from Rail hitting taxpayers that is a flood that won't subside is the subsidy each year for HART, Rail Security, and Rail maintenance and operations. Once Rail is completed or even before that in 2019, the HART Board of Directors will have planned to expand Rail. And that again will be more taxes to be levied on property owners. What will save property owners from the Tsunami and the Flood of taxes coming from Rail is a mayor that will be able to make the GET surcharge permanent.
on June 27,2013 | 02:00PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
The antis are losing ground! So as in any tea party/Gop tactic FEAR mongering in full swing!! The fear of tsunami! The fear of taxes! The fear of fear itself. Wait that's called Terrorisim!
on June 27,2013 | 02:45PM
Kuniarr wrote:
NanakuluBoss you earned your pay today.

Except:
Do you know how much the GET surcharge collection is today? Thought so.
Do you know how much is the estimated cost of rail construction not covered by the FTA? Thought so

If you do not know anything about the progress of GET surcharge collection and the estimated amount of the cost of rail construction that the GET surcharge will cover - why all this baloney about "FEAR mongering"?
on June 27,2013 | 04:21PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
Thank you Kuniarr!
on June 27,2013 | 05:01PM
Skyler wrote:
Touché
on June 27,2013 | 07:59PM
raspberrygoat wrote:
GO RAIL GO!!!
on June 27,2013 | 02:26PM
mikethenovice wrote:
yeah. Go to heck.
on June 27,2013 | 07:26PM
beachbum11 wrote:
No Rail No
on June 27,2013 | 02:30PM
Poidogs wrote:
The anti's just can't stand to see more dollars headed our way. "Let us continue to live in ignorance, traffic, and social disparity!", they shout out from their manicured homes in Kailua and East Honolulu.
on June 27,2013 | 03:06PM
aomohoa wrote:
I think you should not generalize on who the anti rail people are. It makes you look ignorant. I am not a member of the tea party and I live in Ewa Beach. My concern about the rail is it seems like much money has been wasted on greasing palms.
on June 27,2013 | 03:17PM
allie wrote:
fair comment
on June 27,2013 | 03:28PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
Thank you -
on June 27,2013 | 05:02PM
hybrid1 wrote:
Ignorant? These are FACTS: The year 2030 West Oahu commuter DEMAND is 15,000 people per peak hour above the existing highway capacity according to the City's$10 million Alternative Analysis report. .. The reckless $7 Billion rail carries only 3,000 people per hour (70% Standees) so this leaves a shortfall of 11,000 west Oahu commuters per hour which will still need transportation to downtown via H-1 freeway, Moanalua Hwy and Kam hwy. In other words, traffic will be worse on west Oahu H-1 WITH the $7 Billion Rail in operation....which won't be completed for 10 to 25 years.
on June 27,2013 | 03:37PM
Kuniarr wrote:
In 2025, a HART document (Final Financial Plan for Full Funding Agreement) details the completion of three State projects (2 "fixed guideways" and the Nimitz Flyover) that would make commuting by bus express (Country Bus) and car/van pool would be a lot faster than taking the train.

So, in 2025, the question that begs to be asked: Why did we build a $5.26 billion rail system when commuting by bus express would be much faster than the train?
on June 27,2013 | 06:46PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
yes lets throw some class warfare just for the heck of it - get lost!
on June 27,2013 | 05:02PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The anti-antis in this forum just shoot their mouth off but know nothing whatsoever on documents revealing two things that repudiates the ignorance of these anti-antis concerning (1) traffic (2) commuting from the West side.

(1) Traffic - today the only reason Hawaii is #1 as the most congested cities in the US is because the Hawaii DOT has not adopted the system used in the mainland to address stop-and-go traffic congestion and make traffic flow smoothly.

In 2016, the Joint Traffic Management Center is scheduled to be completed and with its completion an environment will exist whereby the system used in the mainland will be considered for application on the H-1 and make traffic flow smoothly.

(2) The Final Financing Plan for Full Funding Agreement on pages 2-9 and 2-10 reveals that the state has three projects scheduled to be completed in 2022 and 2025 that would provide so-called "Fixed Guideway" and a Nimitz Flyover for a traffic free commute for West side residents on the Bus Express (Country Bus) and car/van pool.
In other words, by 2025 commuting from the West side by Bus Express would be a lot faster than taking the train.
So in 2025, the question that begs to be asked is: Why the heck did we build a $5.26 billion rail system when taking the bus express would be much faster than taking the train.

These events that will occur before and after Rail becomes operational are events that questions the sanity of spending $5.26 billion for rail construction when (1) traffic on the H1 would be flowing smoothly (2) commuting by bus express and by car/van pool would be a lot faster than commuting by train.
on June 27,2013 | 06:40PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Public transportation is not to solve the gridlock. It's to carry the folks who can't drive.
on June 27,2013 | 07:27PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Baloney. Whenever anti-antis talk of rail the first thing that comes out of their mouths is Traffic.

mikethenovice Traffic is but #1 in my comment.

#2 is about the events that HART talked about in the Final Financial Plan for Full Funding Agreement (pages 2-9 and 2-10) which were about two "fixed guideways" and a Nimitz Flyover. And these three projects makes commuting by bus express or car/van pool a lot faster than commuting by train. And that, mikethenovice would make people in 2025 ask the question - Why the heck did we build a $5.26 billion rail system when taking the bus express would be much faster than taking the train.
on June 27,2013 | 11:24PM
mcc wrote:
Too bad the money can't be used to fix our water mains, sewers, and potholes.
on June 27,2013 | 03:33PM
Skyler wrote:
No political will there. They don't have to deal with it from day to day like everyone else so why should they care? Those "Project by the Mayor of Honolulu" signs don't look as cool on fixed water, sewer & road construction as they do on shiny new stuff. What's so funny is that people are going to be cursing about this for years to come if it goes ahead, and they're still going to have sewer, water & road problems. Auwe.
on June 27,2013 | 08:04PM
Pukele wrote:
It is time the paper wrote an article on when the city will get contractor bids on the entire project, and what will happen when the bids are over the budget.
on June 27,2013 | 04:53PM
kennysmith wrote:
DO YOU ALL THINK THIS that they will stay under what they say on paper ?, cence i never did see what if they will go under ground ground ?, or what will they do from here on out?.
on June 27,2013 | 04:54PM
Skyler wrote:
Underground in town? Nah. They're trying to build a train not a submarine.
on June 27,2013 | 08:06PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
"The project received $14 million less in federal dollars than anticipated for 2013 because of budget sequestration cuts. However, federal officials have said that shortfall would be made up in later years."

Actually, they said NEXT year. Yet, it's not being made up in 2014. Shocking.


on June 27,2013 | 07:01PM
mikethenovice wrote:
How can anyone afford to live on O'ahu paying for the potholes, sewer pipes, and the rail? Those who are in favor of the rail will also leave O'ahu with rail remorse.
on June 27,2013 | 07:24PM
mikethenovice wrote:
That rendering photo above will get us all wet when it rains. See the blue sky?
on June 27,2013 | 07:28PM
Skyler wrote:
And what pray tell are you going to buy with that $250 mil? More glossy brochures to cajole the scant majority into believing that heavy Rail is still A-OK for Honolulu, or more 'see for myself' junkets to Europe for Grabby boy?
on June 27,2013 | 07:52PM
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