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Transit authority plans to question Ansaldo about finances

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Courtesy City and County of Honolulu
A University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization report projects construction spending statewide will jump 3.6 percent this year to \$5.6 billion. Honolulu’s mass-transit line will be a factor. Above is an artist’s rendition for a planned rail station in Aiea.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation wants the winning rail car contractor to answer questions about the company’s financial stability.

Board members agreed the company should appear before the authority, but did not set a date for the appearance.

Questions about Ansaldo Honolulu’s finances arose after its parent company, Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, said it wants to restructure or sell AnsaldoBreda, one of the partners that make up Ansaldo Honolulu. 

For now the city is moving forward to execute a contract with Ansaldo Honolulu. The rail agency is waiting for the company to put up bonds as part of the procurement process, said interim HART Executive Director Toru Hamayasu at today’s board meeting in Kapolei Hale.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye also made an appearance before the board, and offered words of encouragement.

“I’ve been in this political business for over half a century,”?Inouye told the board. “And I find that it’s very easy to oppose. It’s much more difficult to be for something. Because you gotta stand up and take a lot of crap.”

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