- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Honolulu officials say the Federal Transit Administration has made it clear the city won’t be receiving additional federal dollars to make up a $2 billion shortfall in the city’s rail project budget.

A Honolulu delegation traveled to San Francisco for two days of meetings with federal transit officials. Mayor Kirk Caldwell, two city councilmen and members of the Honolulu rail authority made the trip, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/2c3pU2r).

City officials say in a news release that the FTA on Tuesday also shot down a proposal to have the rail built only to Middle Street, or about 5 miles shorter than originally planned. The city said it would miss out on a $1.6 billion federal grant by stopping the line short.

The FTA reiterated that its grant was contingent on building all 20 miles and 21 stations, city officials said.

The latest cost estimates have put the project at $8 billion, about $2 billion more than what was estimated in 2014.

“Both Mayor Caldwell and Council Chair (Ernie) Martin asked the FTA for a commitment for additional funds,” the release states. “The FTA’s response was ‘no.’”

City officials said they are still optimistic that the FTA will consider their request to extend the deadline for drafting a recovery plan for the project’s funding beyond the Dec. 31 deadline.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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