Honolulu Rail Transit Project

The project is an automated fixed-guideway rail system along Oʻahu’s south shore between East Kapolei Station and a temporary terminus at the Civic Center Station. The alignment is elevated, except for a 0.6-mile at-grade portion at the Leeward Community College station. The project is intended to provide faster, more reliable public transportation service than can be achieved with buses operating in congested mixed-flow traffic and improve transit links within the corridor.

About the Project

As part of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) accepted Recovery Plan, HART and the City and County of Honolulu have amended the scope of the project to reduce the federally funded original Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) scope by postponing the last 1.25 miles of guideway, the final two stations (Kakaʻako and Ala Moana), and the Pearl Highlands Parking Garage. The revised description will be 18.9 miles and 19 stations.

HART is working with the FTA on an amended document proposed in the Recovery Plan for environmental clearances. An extension from the Civic Center Station to the Ala Moana Transit Center and a parking facility will be completed in a separate project phase.

HART’s newly accepted Recovery Plan will allow HART to update the project progress based on the revised scope and schedule included in the Recovery Plan.

> 2022 Recovery Plan
> System Resource Guide

Administrative Record Archive

The archive includes more than 150,000 pages of project documents, correspondence, and reports.

Benefits of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project

The guideway is an elevated structure, except for a 0.6-mile at-grade section near Leeward Community College. The exclusive right-of-way will achieve rapid, more reliable service than with only buses operating on congested streets.

The route will provide transportation in various areas and communities of limited mobility and low income and help serve keiki to kupuna.

The Honolulu Rail Transit Project will provides service to rapidly developing areas.

Rail will be fully integrated with the City bus system. A single system-wide transit smart card will be used by passengers to move seamlessly between TheBus and the rail system.

Opportunities for transit-oriented development (TOD) along the alignment.

Future opportunities to extend the project to Ala Moana Transit Center and, ultimately, to the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) at Mānoa.

Project Milestones

Summer 2005
The Hawaiʻi State Legislature authorizes a 0.5% General Excise Tax surcharge to provide local funding for a mass transit system.

December 2006
The Honolulu City Council selects a fixed guideway system from Kapolei to Waikīkī and UH-Mānoa as the Locally Preferred Alternative.

February 2007
The Honolulu City Council recommends an initial 20-mile route from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center for the first construction phase.

November 2008
Voters confirm decision to utilize steel-wheel on steel-rail technology. The City completes the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

February 2009
Officials shift the route from Salt Lake to the Honolulu International Airport.

November 2010
Voters establish HART as a semi-autonomous authority to build and operate the rail transit system.

December 2010
Governor Neil Abercrombie accepts the project’s Environmental Impact Statement.

January 2011
The Federal Transit Administration issues a Record of Decision to approve construction.

February 2011
A ceremonial project groundbreaking is held at the site of the Kualaka‘i Station in East Kapolei.

August 2012
State Supreme Court rules that archaeological studies were improperly phased. Construction activities are halted.

December 2012
The Federal Transit Administration issues a Full Funding Grant Agreement to provide $1.55 billion in Federal New Station Funding to construct the project, or about 32% of the estimated $5.1 billion project cost.

September 2013
HART completes the archaeological studies and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Permits are reissued and construction resumes.

January 2016
The Hawai‘i State Legislature extends the 0.5% General Excise Tax for five years until 2027 to raise an additional $1.2 billion in funding for the project.

November 2016
Rail operations from HART to Department of Transportation Services.

September 2017
To provide an additional $2.4 billion in funding for the project, the Hawai‘i State Legislature extends the 0.5% GET for three additional years until December 2030, and also raises the Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) by 1% as an additional local funding source until December 2030.

September 2020
HART energizes the third rail and begins Dynamic train testing between East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium.

November 2020
HART terminates the procurement of Public-Private Partnership (P3) contract for the construction of the City Center Guideway and Stations segment of the Project.

November 2021
Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed Bill 40 into law to support restore Transient Accommodations Tax revenue.

December 2021
The Honolulu City Council approved Bill 40 to implement a 3% new City Transient Accommodations Tax on visitor accommodations, allocating revenue for the rail project.

May 2022
Prior to its submission to the Federal Transit Administration, the HART Board of Directors, the Honolulu City Council Committee on Transportation, Health and Sustainability approves HART’s Recovery Plan.

HART awards CCUR III Downtown construction contract to Frank V. Coluccio Construction Company, Inc.

June 2022
HART submits the 2022 Recovery Plan to the FTA.

August 2022
HART awards CCUR IV Dillingham construction contract to Nan, Inc.

The Honolulu Rail System enters Trial Running Phase for the operating segment one.

September 2022
The Federal Transit Administration accepts HART’s 2022 Recovery Plan.

October 2022
HART and Hitachi Rail Honolulu conducts an emergency training exercise involving the City’s first responders between the Kualakaʻi (East Kapolei) Station and the Keone‘ae (UH-West O‘ahu) Station.

June 2023
On June 9, 2023 HART transferred 10.75 miles of guideway, 9 stations, the 43-acre Rail Operations Center and Maintenance and Storage Facility, and 12 four-car trains to the City’s Department of Transportation Services.

The Honolulu rail system, officially named the Skyline, opened on June 30, 2023.

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Project Status

The Overall Construction and Design Project Progress is based on the Estimate at Completion for the 2022 Recovery Plan scope to Ka‘ākaukukui (Civic Center) Station and the March 2031 Operational Readiness date.

Segment 1 Rail Now Open

For information on rail fares, schedules, safety, and operational questions, visit the Department of Transportation Services website. Skyline Hotline: 808-848-5555

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