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(June 16, 2009) Washington DC -- Mayor Mufi Hannemann met with new Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff today to update him on the Honolulu Rapid Transit Projectís financial plan, various project development tasks, and the projected implementation schedule spanning the next 18 months. The Mayor and Administrator Rogoff agreed to make a concerted effort to complete the environmental review necessary for the project.

"Administrator Rogoff is very familiar with Honoluluís efforts to build rail transit," Hannemann said. "As a staff member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee in 1992, Administrator Rogoff first learned of the traffic and congestion challenges that our community faced and has continued to confront over the ensuing 17 years.

"Administrator Rogoff was briefed in great detail about the project and surveyed our proposed route when he was in Honolulu during a Senate staff review of the project in January 2008. Given his knowledge of our cityís need for congestion relief, the administrator told me that he remains supportive of local efforts to find a transit solution."

Rogoff assured the mayor that he and the FTA are aware of both the job creation benefits of the project and the essential transportation improvements that will result from it. Mayor Hannemann noted that the administrator reaffirmed his commitment, expressed during his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing, to work closely with the City and County of Honolulu as it seeks to advance the Rapid Transit Project through the federal approval process.

           Hannemann also met today in Washington with senior White House and State Department officials regarding Honoluluís proposal to host the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting. Honolulu is one of four finalist cities for the event. A decision is expected later this year.

The mayor emphasized that Honolulu is considered the nationís safest large city; has a symbolic mid-Pacific location; offers a wide range of high-quality accommodations; is home to the East-West Center and its Asia Pacific experts; and is also home of the U.S. Pacific Command, which oversees all American military forces in the region. Hannemann also noted that President Obama was born in Honolulu and has historic ties to the region, having spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

Hannemann commended the East-West Center and its president, Charles Morrison, for efforts in support of the APEC hosting proposal, and also thanked Hawaiiís governor and congressional delegation for their strong support.

Hannemann leaves tonight for Chicago, where he will be a featured speaker

at tomorrowís annual American Public Transportation Association conference and meet with various rail transit experts.

Hannemann will return to Honolulu on Thursday.


Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayorís Office, 768-6928