January 4, 2019

It was an exciting year for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the Honolulu Rail Transit Project.


In West Oahu, contractors made significant progress on the  nine stations along the first half of the Project. Look for contractors to complete the station construction here in the new year. The ten miles of guideway those stations will serve are essentially 100% complete.  Under that guideway in the Pearl City area, residents are enjoying freshly repaved areas of Kamehameha Highway, from  Acacia Road near Pearl Highlands


past the old Sears Distribution Center.  And while restriping work in that area is underway, crews are already preparing to repave the next section of Kamehameha Highway from Waiau to the Pearlridge Center and beyond, towards Aloha Stadium.
In the latter part of 2018, riders of TheBus may have noticed new card readers installed on many City buses.  The readers allowed the City to begin testing the new HOLO Card public transportation payment system.  HART is leading the pilot program and once completed, the HOLO Card will enable riders to move seamlessly between TheBus, Handi-Van, and eventually rail while introducing a quick and easy way to pay fares without needing to carry cash or multiple passes.
Some of HART's more notable achievements this year included the delivery of trains three and four to the Project's growing fleet. Eventually, twenty trains will make up HART's fleet with 17 running during peak periods, stopping at each station every five minutes.
HART's Rail Operations Center made significant strides in 2018.  The "heart" of the Project went online with its Automatic Train Supervision Display System, giving engineers the ability to monitor all trains across the Project in real-time, allowing them to run safely, efficiently, and on-time.  In addition, the more than 5-miles of track that make up the Project's base yard was successfully energized, allowing trains to both move freely within the confines of the yard, and also move on to the dynamic section of test track above Waipahu.  HART contractor Ansaldo Honolulu JV conducted train testing on that track section throughout 2018 and will do so even more, as HART moves towards interim service between Kapolei and Aloha Stadium in the latter part of 2020.
On the admin side, the HART Team rallied together on many levels to meet a handful of deadlines set by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  In response, the FTA said it, "...appreciated the efforts of HART and the City" in meeting these goals to keep Project delivery on track.

On the construction front, in one of the more significant events of 2018, crews began work on the "Airport Guideway & Stations" section of the Project.  In February, work crews put up the first columns of the section along Kamehameha Highway fronting Joint Base Pearl Harbor/Hickam.  Less than a year later, columns now extend all the way into the airport area with guideway construction also underway.  

Contractor Shimmick/Traylor/Granite JV is both on-schedule and under budget for that particular section that extends from Aloha Stadium to the Middle Street Transit Center.

One of the reasons work on the airport section is on schedule is due to HART continually revisiting its construction practices to maximize on those that work well, and eliminate those that aren't as efficient.  For the "Airport Guideway & Stations" section, HART determined that moving utilities (water, sewer, telephone, power, communications, etc.) ahead of active construction, would help expedite the overall construction process.  That decision has allowed STG-JV to remain on schedule as it builds the columns, guideway, and stations along the 5.15-mile stretch.
It is also precisely why, in 2018, HART began utility relocation work along the final 4.12 mile "City Center Guideway & Stations" section of the Project from Middle Street to Ala Moana Center.  By verifying the location of, then relocating, some 24 miles of combined utility lines, active construction of the "City Center" portion of the Project should be much more efficient, allowing contractors to stay within scheduling guidelines and mitigate construction impacts to Oahu residents.
HART's Website at www.HonoluluTransit.org


HART is committed to providing construction and Project information to all Oahu residents and businesses.  Through its website ( www.HonoluluTransit.org), social media outlets ( Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), e-blasts, public engagement, community involvement, and business outreach, HART is committed to providing information whenever it's needed, and in whatever manner it needs to be received.

Throughout 2018, the HART Public Involvement team conducted many Business & Community Meetings for residents and business owners in communities both near and surrounding rail construction.  The HART team also hosted informational kiosks at public events, schools, and university campuses all across Oahu, to both update and educate the public about the Honolulu Rail Transit Project.

Together, these activities are just a small part of HART's connection to the communities it serves.  In 2018, the HART Ohana was honored to receive the "Spirit of Community Award" by the Aloha United Way, given to organizations who have "worked hard to help others in our community."  The HART team also made hundreds of pounds of donations to the Hawaii Food Bank, gallons of life-saving contributions to the Blood Bank of Hawaii, and donated thousands of school supplies to children in need.

Both directly and indirectly, the Honolulu Rail Transit Project is helping to build a stronger Hawaii through project construction, Project associated career opportunities, and secondary opportunities related to the Rail Project.  As HART moves towards interim service and then on to full service in 2025, more career opportunities will become available, especially those centered upon the operations and maintenance of the rail system.

With an anticipated 600+ career opportunities to be available at HART's Rail Operations Center alone, action was needed to ensure a qualified workforce.  In 2018, HART addressed the issue by joining forces with Ansaldo and the University of Hawaii's Leeward Community College to develop a brand new "Integrated Industrial Technology" program to train rail's future workforce.  This year, 16 students embarked on the two-year program that will not only provide them with skills compatible to the Rail Project, but also skills that are well-matched for a number of other tech-based careers in many other industries across Hawaii as well.
In this way, HART is helping to provide career opportunities for those both in and out of the rail industry, while also helping to train the next "tech-based generation" of professionals at a time when they are needed most.
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is excited for the New Year ahead, as HART continues its mission to work towards providing a safe, reliable, and sustainable high-capacity transportation option for Oahu's residents, businesses, and visitors.


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