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HART Submits Request For $1.55 Billion In Federal Funding

HART SUBMITS REQUEST FOR $1.55 BILLION IN FEDERAL
FUNDING

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) today
submitted a request for $1.55 billion in federal New Starts
funding for the Honolulu rail transit project.

The Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) submittal is the final
step in the Federal Transit Administration’s planning and
development process, which concludes in a multi-year agreement
between the City and County of Honolulu and the FTA
that formally establishes the level of federal funding for the
rail project.

“We have reached an important milestone,” said HART CEO and
executive director Dan Grabauskas. “Today is the culmination
of nearly seven years of hard work by many dedicated
individuals who have helped to move our rail transit
project forward.”

Grabauskas noted the Honolulu rail project staff worked closely
with their FTA partners to finalize the FFGA package.

“We want to thank those on the federal level – the FTA and our
Hawaii congressional delegation – who worked closely with the
City throughout the years during this lengthy and stringent
process,” Grabauskas said.

The Honolulu rail project has already received $120 million in
federal funding that goes toward the requested $1.55
billion.

Speaking on behalf of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, U.S.
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye said, “The submittal of the Full Funding
Grant Agreement to the Federal Transit Administration by the
City and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is an
important milestone.When the FFGA is approved later this year,
Honolulu will secure the commitment of $1.55 billion in
federal funds for construction of the rail project. This has
been a collective effort of many people working together.
Our congressional delegation is proud to be a part of the
team.”

“Before it signs a $1.55 billion contract, the federal government
needs to be sure that the money will be well spent, especially
when other cities are saying they need those same dollars,”
said HART Board Chairwoman Carrie Okinaga. “Our rail
project is being allowed through these gates because we have
shown our commitment and ability to bring this project to
fruition.”

“This train is moving and this funding request will secure
its future,” said Mayor Peter Carlisle. “Federal support for
this project is strong and construction is ongoing. Reaching
this point has taken hard work by all our partners, and
we’re grateful to HART, Hawaii’s congressional delegation, the
City Council and everyone else who has contributed to this
important effort to improve mobility, create jobs and guide
prudent, smart development that moves Oahu forward for the benefit
of generations to come.”

“It has taken a great deal of effort to get the project to this
point. It has truly been a team effort and it will continue to
require teamwork to see this project to completion,” said City
Council Chairman Ernie Martin. “I am confident that the
FFGA will be approved, and a great deal of credit is due to
our Congressional delegation led by Senator Inouye.”

After receiving Honolulu’s FFGA request, the FTA will take
approximately 30 days to review it before forwarding the
request to the Office of Management and Budget at theWhite
House for its own 30-day review.

From there, the FTA will inform Congress of its intent to sign
the agreement as part of a 60-day notification process. The
completed agreement is expected to be finalized later this
year.

Along with the FFGA request, HART provided FTA officials with an
updated financial plan and other documents that include the
scope, schedule and budget for the rail project. The new
financial plan provides updated figures from the previous
financial plan published in September 2011.

The new June 2012 project financial plan shows the following:

  • The total estimated project cost decreasing from $5.17 billion
    to $5.16
  • billion.
  • The GET revenue projection was adjusted to reflect actual
    collections, which resulted in an increase from $3.15 billion
    to $3.29 billion. The state began collecting the half-percent
    GET surcharge for the Honolulu rail system in January 2007.
    The GET for rail is set to expire at the end of 2022.
  • The cash surplus at project completion increased from $83
    million to $193 million.
  • In accordance with the FTA guidelines and HART’s projected
    financial plan, the contingency reserve was reduced to 15
    percent of the project’s cost.
  • Use of estimated FTA Section 5307 formula funds for the project
    decreased from $244 million to $210 million.

“We remain on plan in terms of both revenue and overall project
costs and we are on schedule to receive a decision on the FFGA
by the end of the year,” said HART Board’s Finance Committee
Chairman Don Horner.

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