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City officials to meet with feds over rail project

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    The public's input is more crucial than ever as rail pieces start fitting into place.

City leaders overseeing Honolulu’s elevated rail project are in Washington, D.C. to brief federal transit officials on how the effort is going.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City Council Chairman Ernie Martin, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation CEO Dan Grabauskas and HART board Chair Carrie Okinaga are scheduled to meet Tuesday with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Authority Administrator Peter Rogoff.

The FTA committed last year to a six-year, $1.55 billion spending agreement for the 20-mile rail system, slated to run from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.

The project will receive $14 million less in federal dollars this year due to budget sequestration cuts, but the FTA has been assured that those dollars will be made up in subsequent years, rail officials said earlier this month.

The group will also meet with members of Hawaii’s Congressional delegation, as well as staff and members of the U.S. Senate and House Transportation and Appropriations committees, according to a release.

Caldwell is scheduled to return Thursday. The city’s managing director, Ember Shinn, is acting mayor while he’s away.

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