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Frequently Asked Questions - Budget & Finances

FAQs - Budget & Finances
Who will be paying for construction of rail transit?

$1.55 billion of the construction cost is being paid for with funds from the Federal Transit Administration. A large percentage is being paid by tourists making purchases on Oahu (to which the half-percent GET surcharge applies), and the balance is being paid by residents and businesses (through the half-percent GET surcharge).

See: Full Funding Grant Agreement

Isn't HART borrowing money to pay for the rail project?

The project is only using short-term bonds that will be paid back using federal funds and revenue collected from the GET surcharge. 

Have we received any Federal funding?

Yes. To date, HART has received $806,267,358, part of the $1.55 billion federal Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) that was approved in 2012 to pay for the construction of Honolulu's rail project. President Obama's fiscal year 2017 budget once again includes full funding for the Honolulu rail transit project.

See: Full Funding Grant Agreement

How much will the project cost?

The cost for the full 20-mile alignment is estimated to be greater than $6.7 billion.

How will we pay for it?

The local General Excise and Use Tax (GET) surcharge for rail, which is a half-percent surcharge on goods and services purchased on Oahu, has been collected since 2007. The surcharge will continue through 2027. This will yield $4.8 billion for the project. Another $1.55 billion has been awarded to HART by the Federal Transit Administration. The remaining funds will come from other federal programs and locally generated revenue, such as interest on funds on deposit.

See: Full Funding Grant Agreement

Compared to TheBus, how much will it cost to operate and maintain rail?

Rail will cost about half as much to operate and maintain than TheBus. The cost of operating and maintaining TheBus system will increase much faster each year than it will for rail.

How much of the construction cost will be paid by the federal funds?

$1.55 Billion of the project cost will be paid for by the federal government.

See: Full Funding Grant Agreement

HART Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation