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Bill Brennan
Director of Communications
1099 Alakea Street, Suite 1700
Honolulu, HI 96813
: 808-768-6197
: 808-228-1526
: Email

'Aukai Reynolds
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Honolulu, HI 96813
: 808-768-6239
: 808-781-4931
: Email

HART Office
HART Receptionist
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Honolulu, HI 96813
: 808-768-6159
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Rail Project Contracts Under Budget by $165 Million

(Tues., Jan. 18, 2011)--The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today issued a Record of Decision for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project, confirming that the project has met all the requirements of the environmental review process and clearing the way for construction to begin on Honolulu's first rail system.

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff presented the Record of Decision (ROD) to Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and Toru Hamayasu, general manager for the City's Rapid Transit Division, at FTA offices in Washington, D.C.

"This is one of the most significant milestones for the rail project," Carlisle said. "We will soon be able to provide residents with a sensible alternative to our congested roads and highways and improve their overall quality of life. Rail transit construction will also create thousands of jobs and fuel our state's economy - it's time to get those shovels in the ground."

"Today marks an important milestone in Oahu's quest to become a more transit-friendly island," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. "With the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act process, the City of Honolulu has met all of the laws and regulations of the environmental review and we look forward to the day when Honolulu's citizens can ride the rails in comfort, breathe cleaner air, and avoid getting stuck in time-wasting traffic jams."

Carlisle said he was pleased to have the FTA's approval. "This is a huge accomplishment and reflects the strong confidence the FTA has in this project. Our transit team has worked closely with FTA throughout the process and this shows that our plan is sound and our project is on solid footing."

The FTA's approval follows Governor Neil Abercrombie's acceptance of the State's Final Environmental Impact Statement in December. The project's EIS identified environmental, community and economic benefits and impacts of the rail system as well as mitigation measures for addressing these issues.

The $5.5 billion transit project is a 20-mile elevated rail system connecting East Kapolei with Ala Moana Center.  It includes 21 stations in communities including Waipahu, Pearl City, Aiea, Kalihi, Chinatown, Downtown Honolulu and Kakaako. There will also be stations at activity centers such as UH-West Oahu, Leeward Community College, Pearl Highlands, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu International Airport and Honolulu Community College.

The City has already awarded a construction contract for the first phase of the elevated rail guideway from East Kapolei to Pearl City.  A second contract for the train storage and maintenance facility in Waipahu is expected to be executed shortly. The city is scheduled to award two more major contracts this year for the second phase of the rail route from Pearl City to Aloha Stadium and for the "core systems," which consists of the train vehicles and the control center for the rail system.

The City is scheduled to award the design contract for the third section of the route from Aloha Stadium to Honolulu Airport later this year. The final two phases of the rail alignment from Honolulu Airport to Ala Moana Center will be built through a design-bid-build process. The train stations along the rail route will be designed and constructed through separate future contracts.

The $5.5 billion transit project is a 20-mile elevated rail system connecting East Kapolei with Ala Moana Center.  It includes 21 stations in communities including Waipahu, Pearl City, Aiea, Kalihi, Chinatown, Downtown Honolulu and Kakaako. There will also be stations at activity centers such as UH-West Oahu, Leeward Community College, Pearl Highlands, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu International Airport and Honolulu Community College.

Train service for the first leg of the transit route from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium is scheduled to begin in 2015, with full service along the entire 20-mile route from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center in 2019.

HART Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation