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RAIL PROJECT RECEIVES $67.5 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS
(Fri., March 8, 2013) − The Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation (HART) today received $67.5 million in federal funding for the rail project as part of a $1.55-billion grant agreement between HART and the FTA.
The $67.5 million is part of $255 million in federal money currently available for the Honolulu rail transit project this fiscal year. The project to date has $320 million available in federal funds under the Full Funding Grant Agreement. That agreement, signed last December, guarantees the project a total of $1.55 billion over the next six years.
“This shows the continued commitment of our federal partners to providing Honolulu with a safe, reliable and efficient transportation alternative to some of the nation’s worst traffic congestion,” said HART CEO and Executive Director Dan Grabauskas. “These funds will be used to reimburse the project for design, engineering and other costs associated with building Oahu’s 20-mile rail system.”
“This latest installment of funds further illustrates that the project is on strong footing with the FTA and allows us to keep the project on track,” said HART Board Chairwoman Carrie Okinaga. “We will continue to work with the FTA in moving the project forward.”
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the latest infusion of federal funds is a strong indicator of the project’s success.
“It signals the federal government’s continued support for the project even in these difficult times. It is also a reflection of the years of dedicated work by Senator Dan Inouye, one of this project’s greatest champions, and our entire congressional delegation,” Caldwell said. “It moves us that much closer to improving the quality of life for Oahu residents by providing an alternative to sitting in traffic burning gas and losing time.”
Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernest Martin said, “The release of $67.5 million from the FTA at this time is an unmistakable sign that Honolulu will have the full federal funding support through the completion of the rail project.”
The rail system includes 21 stations at key education, employment and retail destinations, including UH-West Oahu, Leeward and Honolulu community colleges, Honolulu International Airport, Downtown Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and Ala Moana and Pearlridge shopping centers. The first 10 miles of the rail system from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium is expected to open in 2017, with the full 20-mile line opening in 2019.
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