Advocacy Updates

Council Hearing Expected to Move Rail Transit Funding Forward

The Legislative Matters Committee of the Honolulu City Council will hear multiple bills and resolutions to address funding issues related to completing rail, including the 2018 Rail Recovery Plan to be submitted to the Federal Transit Authority (FTA). Immediately following the committee hearing, City Council will meet to consider third reading and approval of the measures.

The Recovery Plan is intended to provide the FTA with plans to address an anticipated $2.8 billion shortfall in funding to finish the rail project. In a September 21, 2018 letter, the FTA directed HART to identify the final selection of a procurement strategy for the City Center Guideway and Stations segment by October 21, 2018 and to further revise its Recovery Plan—including the financial plan—to reflect an updated cost estimate of $8.299 by November 20, 2018.

The City’s 2018 Financial Plan includes a City subsidy of $214 million and the issuance by the City of fixed-rate, variable-rate, and tax-exempt commercial paper bonds to partially finance the rail project. If accepted by the FTA, the 2018 Financial Plan will be made a part of the Full Funding Grant Agreement between the City and the FTA to pay for and finish the rail transit project.

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