HART WEEKLY eBLAST  | September 8, 2017


Andrew Robbins
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

Andrew Robbins, the new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, is now in charge of the Honolulu Rail Project.  September 5th marke d the first day on the job for Robbins, the start of a 3-year term.  He comes to the Authority after serving as a Senior Executive with Bombardier Transportation in San Francisco.
New HART CEO Andrew Robbins (far right) inspects rail cars at the Rail Operations Center

Mr. Robbins succeeds HART's current Interim Executive Director and C.E.O. Krishniah Murthy.  Murthy will remain with HART through the middle of December to allow for Robbins' successful transition into his new role.
"I am very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead." said Robbins, "I have been closely following the events of the past few weeks as both state and city lawmakers worked diligently to allow for the completion of the rail project to the Ala Moana Center and I want to thank them for their efforts."
"Without question, rail will provide numerous benefits for the people of Oahu, the residents of this State and for our visitors for generations to come." Robbins added, "This project will serve as a centerpiece for our community and its commerce, and I am proud to take the reins to help see this project through to its completion."
(Above & above left) Ansaldo Honolulu JV Sr. Manager Enrico Fontana gives HART CEO Andrew Robbins a tour of the Rail Operations Center

Robbins has an extensive background in public passenger urban rail, rail equipment, infrastructure, construction management, systems integration and airport transit.  Additionally, he brings expertise in project management, project engineering, systems engineering, construction, installation, operations and maintenance, and business development.  Mr. Robbins is also a specialist in driverless transit systems similar to those to be employed in Honolulu's Rail Project.
The Honolulu Rail Transit Project took a huge step forward this week with the passing of a pair of measures that will provide the funding necessary to complete the project's minimum operable segment (MOS) from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.
Following a week-long special session, the legislature passed Senate Bill 4 to provide, among other items, a pair of funding sources to allow the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to complete its MOS as stipulated in the agreement signed between the City & County of Honolulu and the Federal Transit Administration.  Governor David Ige signed SB4 into law last Tuesday (September 5).
In response to the Governor signing SB4 into law, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said:

"The signing of the rail funding bill into law shows Gov. Ige's commitment and leadership in completing the rail project as promised to the people of O'ahu, and is proof of the hard work done by members of the state Senate and House during the special legislative session. Once fully built this driverless train will add fuel to the economic engine that helps power the entire state of Hawai'i by promoting smart development, generating much-needed affordable housing and creating multi- modal communities that all of us are striving for. The city is working closely with HART on an updated financial plan that takes this new funding mechanism into account, and we stand ready to answer any questions the Federal Transit Administration may have about completing the elevated rail line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana. Gov. Ige's signing of the rail funding bill also allows the Honolulu City Council to approve Bill 45, which extends O'ahu's half-percent surcharge to the state general excise tax another three years and is a key component of the updated financial plan the FTA requires by September 15. Meanwhile, my administration continues to work closely with our federal, state and city partners on implementing all of the mandates of the rail funding bill, in particular, more state oversight of rail construction and the timely transfer of tax revenues to the city."
One day after Governor Ige signed SB4 into law, which gave the City & County of Honolulu the authority to extend O'ahu's half-percent surcharge on the State's general excise tax for an additional 3-years through 2030, the Honolulu City Council took up that measure by passing Bill 45 in an 8-0-1 vote.  Using the authority granted under SB4, Bill 45 officially extended O'ahu's GET surcharge. 
HART CEO Andrew Robbins addresses the media following Mayor Kirk Caldwell's
signing of Bill 45.

Following the Council vote, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell enacted Bill 45 during a signing ceremony Thursday at Honolulu Hale.  The mayor again expressed his gratitude to state lawmakers for their efforts in reaching an agreement on Senate Bill 4.  He also thanked members of the City Council, saying he appreciated their efforts as well and noting that Council members exhibited "political bravery" in the passage of Bill 45.



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