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Additional Funding Safeguard Approved For Rail Project

ADDITIONAL FUNDING SAFEGUARD APPROVED FOR RAIL PROJECT

A bill establishing a method for short-term borrowing as a
safeguard for Honolulu’s rail project was approved Wednesday,
clearing the way for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid
Transportation to secure $1.55 billion in federal funding.

The City Council today voted 7 to 2 to approve Bill 37, which
allows the city to issue up to $450 million in commercial paper.
Establishing the additional safeguard is a requirement of the
Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to ensure the project’s
completion.

“This is great news for Honolulu and clears the way for us to
secure $1.55 billion in federal funds. With the strong support we
have of our congressional delegation and from the FT A, we are
confident we will receive the full amount in federal funds,” said
Dan Grabauskas, Executive Director and CEO of the Honolulu
Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). “We are grateful for the
Council’s support of the project. It keeps us on track and moves us
closer to providing relief from the traffic gridlock our community
is forc ed to endure every day.”

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said, “I will be pleased to move
this forward and join the City Council in th eir continued strong
support for Honolulu’s rail project. I want to personally thank the
impressive majority of Council members for their diligence, effort
and vision. After decades of debate and discussion, we now have a
green transportation solution that is safe, reliable and will
reduce traffic congestion. Rail will be the catalyst for smart
development of our urban core and will generate jobs and infuse our
economy with billions of dollars for generations to come.”

“The passage of Bill 37 is a milestone achievement, which
enables the city to meet federal FTA requirements for receipt of
our Full Funding Grant Agreement,” said Council Transportation
Committee Chair Breene Harimoto. “Today’s action clearly confirms
the City Council’s support for the rail project.”

Grabauskas stressed that the rail project’s financial plan also
includes contingencyfunds, and he is confident existing revenue
sources will cover all of the project’s costs. “The funding source
Bill 37 provides would only be used as a last resort if there is a
dramatic, unforeseen circumstance,” Grabauskas said. “Our current
rail financial plan is sound and shows local revenue to pay for
construction is coming in higher than expected.”

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