HART WEEKLY eBLAST | JUNE 28, 2013
CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES CLEAR
$250 MILLION FOR HONOLULU RAIL
HART CEO & Executive Director Dan Grabauskas, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell,
and HART Board Chairman-elect Ivan Lui-Kwan welcomed the news of federal funding.
HART Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas, HART Board Chairman-elect Ivan Lui-Kwan and Mayor Kirk Caldwell welcomed the news Thursday that Honolulu's rail project received the single-largest 2014 budget appropriation of any New Starts transit project in the nation.
The U.S. House and U.S. Senate Appropriations committees approved an additional $250 million for the project as part of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts program.
"This is great news for the project and for the community," said HART Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas. "This reflects the continued commitment of our federal partners and the strong support of Hawaii's congressional delegation."
The $250 million represents the full amount included for the project in President Obama's federal budget.
HART signed a $1.55 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the FTA last December. The FFGA assures the project of predictable federal financial support over the next several years.
IVAN LUI-KWAN ELECTED HART BOARD CHAIR
HART Board Chairman-elect Ivan Lui-Kwan and Vice Chairman Don Horner
Ivan Lui-Kwan was unanimously elected chairman of HART's Board of Directors Thursday. Lui-Kwan, who is currently vice chairman and chairman of the board's Government Affairs/Audit/Legal Matters Committee, will begin his role as chairman on July 1, 2013.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be chosen as the HART Board chairman and to be able to play a part in bringing this important project and all of its benefits to the people of the City and County of Honolulu," Lui-Kwan said. "As we look to resume construction later this year, I pledge to do my best to ensure the board's policy decisions are transparent to sustain the public trust in the rail project and position us well so that we can deliver this project on time and on budget, and in a manner we can all be proud of. "
Lui-Kwan is an attorney and director with Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher, and a former director of the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Budget and Fiscal Services. He earned his juris doctorate degree from Rutgers University, a master's degree in international relations from Rutgers University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Saint Martin's University. He has three years remaining on his five-year term on the board of directors.
HART Board Finance Chairman Don Horner was also unanimously selected as vice chairman, to replace Lui-Kwan. Lui-Kwan succeeds HART's first board chair, Carrie Okinaga, who served for two years in that capacity.
HART AT TOMORROW'S ESPN SPORTS FESTIVAL
If you like the energy and excitement of live events, but wish you could avoid the traffic and parking hassles that go with them, rail transit may be the ticket. One of the planned rail stations will be located at Hawaii's premier sports venue, Aloha Stadium. Rail transit will provide a fast, affordable alternative to slogging it out to the stadium to catch Rainbow Warriors football games and other exciting events.
The Aloha Stadium station will also provide a convenient way for those in surrounding communities to access the rail system for commuting, shopping and other activities at points along the rail line. The planned park-and-ride lot at the stadium will cover seven acres and provide space for 600 cars and trucks.
The stadium is also be conveniently located at the mid-point of the rail line. You can reach the station in 21 minutes from either East Kapolei or from Ala Moana Center.
If you're heading to the Blaisdell Center tomorrow for the ESPN Sports Festival, stop by the HART booth to learn more about the rail transit project and spend some time with the friendly HART project staff. They will be happy to answer all your questions about the rail project. That's this Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
HART TURNS TWO
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) celebrates its second anniversary on Monday, July 1.Those two years were marked by dramatic growth and change, as well as a wide variety of accomplishments at the semi-autonomous City transit authority.
During that time, a 10-member board of directors and CEO & Executive Director Dan Grabauskas were selected to guide the agency. Hundreds of public presentations were delivered, an award-winning informational website was launched, and numerous planning, design and engineering milestones were reached.
One of the most significant achievements was the signing of the $1.55 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) awarded to HART by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) last December. The FFGA assures the project of predictable federal financial support over the next five years.
HART has also dealt with a number of challenges, including construction delays resulting from litigation. The agency has worked diligently to satisfy the requirements of the courts and the agencies involved, and construction is scheduled to resume later this fall.
Engineering and design work for the guideway and rail stations is progressing as planned, and HART will continue hosting community meetings on a range of topics during its third year to inform and receive feedback from island residents.
The HART Board of Directors, its executive director and CEO, and all the members of the project team will maintain their focus on building rail better and do so on schedule and within budget as the project moves forward.