U.S. DOT Signs Funding Agreement for Honolulu Rail Transit System

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff on Dec. 19 signed an agreement to provide $1.55 billion to the City and County of Honolulu on the island of Oahu to build a rail transit system.

In attendance at the signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., were U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Senator Daniel Akaka, Senator-Elect Mazie Hirono, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation CEO Dan Grabauskas, and City Council Chairman Ernest Martin.

The project is intended to create a 20-mile rail line with 21 rail stations encompassing West Oahu, Pearl City, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Honolulu International Airport, downtown Honolulu, and Ala Moana Center, Oahu’s largest shopping center.

The Federal Transit Administration is providing just under $1.8 billion in federal funds for the $5.1 billion project, including $1.55 billion through the Major Capital Investments (New Starts) Program, and local taxpayers are providing $3.358 billion through a half-percent general excise and use tax surcharge paid by Oahu tourists, residents and businesses.