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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  June 12, 2006   Release M-61-06







            Mayor Mufi Hannemann departed last night (Sunday, June 11, 2006) for New York, where he will lead a Honolulu delegation attending the American Public Transportation Association’s 2006 Rail Conference and making other transit-related Mainland stops.

            Today and tomorrow, the mayor, Leeward Oahu City Councilman Todd Apo and City Transportation Services Director Melvin Kaku will attend technical sessions on the operation, management and maintenance of rail and fixed guideway transit systems at what’s billed as “North America’s largest technical conference for the rail industry.”  APTA is an international public interest organization that has represented the transit industry for more than 100 years and has more than 1,500 members that include bus, rapid transit and commuter rail systems as well as private businesses and organizations and government agencies..

            Hannemann, Apo and Kaku will spend Wednesday in Washington, D.C., where they will meet with members of Hawaii’s Congressional delegation and federal transportation officials.

            “We’ll be informing them about the latest developments in Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project and assuaging any concerns they might have about our will to see the project through,” said Hannemann.  “Congressman Abercrombie’s announcement last week that the House Appropriations Committee has approved a $250,000 first installment for Honolulu mass transit demonstrates the project’s viability and adds to its momentum.

            “The governor’s reluctance to follow the law and collect the general excise tax surcharge for transit is not an insurmountable obstacle. I have long felt that traffic congestion for Leeward and Central Oahu commuters is Honolulu’s biggest quality-of-life issue. We should all recognize that we must move forward on this,” the mayor said.

            On Thursday, Hannemann’s party will be joined by Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam, a member of the Council’s Transportation Committee.  They will tour the TRAX light rail transit system in Salt Lake City, Utah. On Friday, they will go to Denver to inspect that city’s Light Rail System. They will also evaluate each system’s management organization and operation and control systems.





Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

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