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Old April 5th, 2015, 01:06 PM   #201
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Quote:
Public participation encouraged as rail work heads toward town



By Web Staff
Published: February 11, 2015, 6:09 pm
Updated: February 11, 2015, 6:18 pm

It might not be today or tomorrow, but rail and the construction that comes along with it could be headed for a neighborhood near you.

Recently, viewers complained about the late night work that crews were doing on Kamehameha Highway in Aiea, but it’s not stopping there.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has already applied for a noise variance for work between Honolulu International Airport and town.

Last month, Aiea residents complained to KHON2 about the drilling and hammering going on into the wee hours of the morning. Crews were doing rail work on Kamehameha Highway near a residential complex.

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://khon2.com/2015/02/11/public-p...s-toward-town/
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Old April 5th, 2015, 01:36 PM   #202
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Quote:
Senate Transportation Committee votes to extend rail tax 25 years



UPDATED-7:00 AM HST Feb 13, 2015
By Andrew Pereira

HONOLULU —After hearing testimony on why Oahu’s rail tax should be made permanent, the Senate Transportation Committee voted 8-0 Thursday to extend the surcharge to the state’s general excise tax another 25 years.

The vote on Senate Bill 19 followed about an hour of testimony that included Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas.

Caldwell said the rail project is about transportation equity for residents of the Ewa plain and admitted the 20-mile system from East Kapolei to the Ala Moana Shopping Center has hit a rough patch with a projected budget deficit of $910 million. However, the mayor said the half-percent rail surcharge is the fairest way to generate money to complete the system without having to raise property taxes as much as 40 percent.

Copyright 2015 KITV4. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.kitv.com/news/Senate-Tran...years/31248888
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Old April 5th, 2015, 01:44 PM   #203
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Quote:
Honolulu Rail Tax Alive, But Ige Still Has Questions

Hawaii senators seemed satisfied with the city's explanation of the project's nearly $1 billion shortfall and the possible ramifications of halting construction.


Rail construction is ongoing, but without an increase in taxes it could stop, rail officials say.
Picture credit - Cory Lum/Civil Beat

FEBRUARY 12, 2015
By NICK GRUBE

A controversial measure to increase the general excise tax to pay for Honolulu’s $6 billion rail project passed its first committee hearing in the Hawaii Senate on Thursday.

But lawmakers didn’t give the city the permanent half-percent surcharge it was seeking.

Instead, they extended the 2022 sunset date to 2047 and tacked on several caveats, including requiring a state audit of the project’s finances that must be completed before the 2016 legislative session.

The amended bill states that half of the 10 percent surcharge revenue the state skims from the rail portion of the GET must also be used for transit-oriented development projects.

Copyright 2015 Civil Beat. All rights reserved. reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/02/hon...has-questions/
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Old April 5th, 2015, 01:54 PM   #204
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Quote:
Gov. Ige talks rail, pesticides and paper


Posted: Feb 12, 2015 2:51 PM HST
Updated: Feb 12, 2015 8:25 PM HST
By Chris Tanaka

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

What's been the biggest surprise of Governor David Ige's short time in office?

“The amount of paper that comes through the office."

No question off limits, no topic too trivial during the governor's first availability in the executive chamber. [...]

[...] Ige reiterated his support for rail, but on the City's hot-button topic of extending the GET surcharge to finance it, he kicked the can down the road.

"The fundamental question is why is it necessary to adjust the tax this session? And I haven't heard a really good response about why that has to". [...]

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights
Read short article and watch video here: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...ides-and-paper
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Old April 5th, 2015, 02:25 PM   #205
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Large post here...
Quote:
Council votes to remove bus funds from rail’s financial plan


UPDATED-8:55 PM HST Feb 18, 2015
By Andrew Pereira

HONOLULU —The City Council voted 8-1 Wednesday to remove $210 million in federal bus funds from the rail's project's official financial plan.

Councilman Brandon Elefante, who represents Aiea, Pearl City and Waipahu, was the only vote against Resolution 15-18. Elefante said removal of bus funds should wait until he and three colleagues return from Washington, D.C. where they will meet with officials from the Federal Transit Administration.

Copyright 2015 KITV4. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.kitv.com/news/Council-vot...-plan/31352732

Quote:
Council votes to remove bus funds from rail money plan



By Web Staff
Published: February 18, 2015, 5:24 pm
Updated: February 18, 2015, 6:17 pm

The Honolulu City Council is working to ensure millions of dollars used to maintain city buses and HandiVans will not go toward rail.

Concerned about the financial struggles of the rail project, council members are making a move to protect funds for other services.

On Wednesday, they voted to adopt a resolution telling the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) to delete $210 million in federal money from its financial plan–money the city uses to maintain buses and HandiVans.

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://khon2.com/2015/02/18/council-...il-money-plan/

Quote:
Council: Bus funds can't be used for rail
Posted: Feb 18, 2015 7:13 PM HST
Updated: Feb 18, 2015 8:24 PM HST
By Rick Daysog & Ben Gutierrez

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu City Council has voted to place city bus funds off limits for the rail transit project.

Due to increased construction costs, delays and lower tax revenues, the price tag for the rail transit project has balloon by $500 million to $700 million.

More than $200 million in federal bus and Handivan funds were included by the rail project's financial plan and were encumbered by the project.

"The mere fact that we need to find $700 million just to finish the project. I think it makes it more imperative that we remove the (bus) funds because if you don't, that in fact becomes a funding source," said City Council Chair Ernie Martin.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...-used-for-rail
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Old April 5th, 2015, 02:38 PM   #206
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Quote:
Schatz: Protecting Federal Money for Rail a Top Priority

The U.S. senator says Hawaii's D.C. delegation will make sure the FTA delivers on its promise, but that it's up to local lawmakers to find new funding for the $6 billion project.


U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wants rail to succeed, but he says it’s up to local leaders to make that happen.
Picture credit - Cory Lum/Civil Beat

FEBRUARY 19, 2015
By NICK GRUBE

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wants Honolulu’s 20-mile commuter rail line to get built, but he says it will be up to local officials to find a way to pay for it.

The $6 billion project has a projected shortfall of up to $910 million, and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has been asking state lawmakers to increase taxes to bridge the gap. There’s worry that construction could come to a stop by this summer if new money isn’t found.

Schatz, who met with Civil Beat’s editorial board Tuesday, said he has talked with Caldwell and others at length about the project’s struggles.

While Caldwell wants the state to make permanent the half-percent general excise tax surcharge that has been funding the project since 2007, Schatz says his role is to protect the $1.5 billion in grant money the Federal Transit Administration awarded the city to build the project.

Copyright 2015 Civil Beat. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/02/sch...-top-priority/
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Old April 5th, 2015, 02:56 PM   #207
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Rail is mentioned further into the article
Quote:
Don’t Extend the Transit Tax to Pay for Honolulu Rail
The Hawaii Legislature should be fixing our tax system instead of making it worse.



Honolulu and rail officials want to extend the general excise tax surcharge for many years to pay for operating the rail project.
Picture credit - Cory Lum/Civil Beat

FEBRUARY 19, 2015
By DENNIS CALLAN

Hawaii already punishes our poor people too much. We extract more sales tax from our low-income residents than any other state and now the Legislature is considering making this disgraceful situation worse.

Look at the numbers. Hawaii’s poorest 20 percent pay 11 percent of their income in excise taxes which represents 80 percent of their total tax bill, highest in the nation. Compare this to our richest 20 percent who spend about 3 percent of their income as excise taxes.

We all know that consumption taxes are extremely regressive, and this is doubly painful here with the nation’s highest cost of living. Hawaii’s unfair tax system is a product of the state Legislature, so they should be trying to fix it instead of making it worse. [...]

[...] The other half of the argument against the tax is the folly of rail, spending way over $6 billion on a transit project that will do practically nothing to help our severe traffic congestion. The city’s own EIS numbers show that transit ridership, currently at 5% of trips, will only go up an insignificant amount to 7% of trips with rail and bus. Congestion on H1 will increase 30% in the coming decade with rail, according to the EIS, condemning those Leeward drivers to permanent traffic hell. [...]

Copyright 2015 Civil Beat. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/02/don...honolulu-rail/

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EDIT: Forgot to fit this article after this post so i'll include it in this one

Quote:
Rail officials to seek $350M loan


Posted: Feb 19, 2015 6:48 PM HST
Updated: Feb 19, 2015 7:07 PM HST
By Rick Daysog

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rail transit officials are looking at cutting back on detailings at stations, using less expensive materials and and even delaying construction of one of its largest parking structures at the Pearl Highlands station.

But it's not going to be enough.

"Given the magnitude of what we're facing, I have to tell you and the public there's not enough to cut to make up that deficit," said Dan Grabauskas, CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

Faced soaring construction costs and lower tax revenues, HART faces a projected shortfall of up to $900 million.

Copyright 2015 KITV4. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...seek-350m-loan
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Old April 5th, 2015, 03:00 PM   #208
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Quote:
Hawaii construction unions support bill to extend rail tax beyond 2022
Feb 20, 2015, 2:00am HST
UPDATED: Feb 20, 2015, 6:57am HST
By Jason Ubay | Reporter - Pacific Business News

Hawaii's construction union leaders are backing legislation to extend the City and County of Honolulu's 0.5 percent tax to help fund Oahu's elevated-rail mass-transit system.

"One of the biggest bills for the 2015 Legislature that would affect our industry is the extension of the half-percent surcharge for Honolulu's rail project," said Peter Ganaban, business manager, secretary-treasurer of the Laborers' International Union of North America, Local 368. "This project has played a key part in the turnaround of our construction industry."

Copyright 2015 Pacific Business News. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/b...to-extend.html
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Old April 5th, 2015, 03:16 PM   #209
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Quote:
FTA says major changes to rail project would come at great price


UPDATED 9:44 PM HST Feb 24, 2015

HONOLULU —Some longtime critics of the city’s rail project have stated repeatedly that Honolulu can make major changes to how the elevated line is built without facing penalties from the federal government.

But after a Tuesday meeting in Washington, D.C., with top officials from the Federal Transit Administration, City Council members Joey Manahan and Ernie Martin came away with a much different understanding of what can actually be done under a full funding grant agreement signed in December 2012. Both men met with FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan as well as support staff.

"The FFGA is a binding contract between us and the federal government,” Manahan told KITV4 via satellite. “So, if they have to basically meet the requirements on their end, we also have to meet the requirements on ours. And that's based on the current financial plan that we have adopted and that HART has put out."

Copyright 2015 KITV4. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.kitv.com/news/FTA-says-ma...price/31462582
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Old April 5th, 2015, 03:30 PM   #210
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This was big news awhile ago...
Quote:
Hitachi buys maker of Honolulu rail system
By Marcel Honoré
POSTED: 12:50 p.m. HST, Feb 24, 2015
LAST UPDATED: 11:35 a.m. HST, Feb 25, 2015

Hitachi Ltd. is buying the Italian train manufacturer contracted to design, build, operate and maintain Honolulu's rail transit system.

The Japanese industrial group, which makes nuclear power equipment, rail systems and industrial machinery, will purchase Finmeccanica's stake in Ansaldo STS SpA and AnsaldoBreda SpA in a deal valued at $2.2 billion.

Finmeccanica owns all of AnsaldoBreda, which is unprofitable, and 40 percent of Ansaldo STS, which is profitable. [...]

Copyright 2015 Star Advertiser. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/b...l?id=293921471

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote:
Japan's Hitachi to buy Honolulu rail car maker Ansaldo for $2.2B
Feb 24, 2015, 10:16am HST
By Janis L. Magin | Managing Editor - Pacific Business News

Japan's Hitachi Ltd. has agreed to buy two Ansaldo units that hold a $1.4 billion contract to build and operate the driverless trains for Honolulu's elevated-rail mass-transit system.

Italian defense and aerospace group Finmeccanica is selling the units for $2.2 billion, the two companies said Tuesday.

Bloomberg reports that Hitachi agreed to buy Finmeccanica's 40 percent stake in the rail signaling unit Ansaldo STS and the rail car maker AnsaldoBreda, and will start a mandatory tender offer for the remaining shares of Ansaldo STS once the deal closes. [...]

Copyright 2015 Pacific Business News. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/n...car-maker.html
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Old April 5th, 2015, 03:53 PM   #211
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Quote:
Behind Closed Doors: Honolulu Rail Officials Planned Political Strategy in Executive Session
Meeting minutes show how rail officials planned to lobby the Legislature to increase taxes to pay for a nearly $1 billion shortfall while telling the public they needed to talk with their attorney.

FEBRUARY 24, 2015
By NICK GRUBE

Newly released records show top Honolulu rail officials were pumping state lawmakers for money before telling the public the project was over budget and facing a nearly $1 billion shortfall.

The documents describe what transpired during a Dec. 18 closed-door meeting between the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board of directors and city attorney Gary Takeuchi.

The discussion was part of an executive session held shortly after HART Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas announced at the board meeting that rail was in financial trouble.

At the time, HART Board Member Don Horner said he wanted to “huddle up” and have a “pretty candid discussion” about the projections.

But Civil Beat obtained written minutes of the private meeting after challenging HART’s legal basis for secrecy to the Hawaii Office of Information Practices, which oversees the state’s Sunshine Law governing open meetings. [...]

Copyright 2015 Civil Beat. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/02/beh...utive-session/
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Old April 5th, 2015, 04:02 PM   #212
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Quote:
Caldwell speaks on rail, homelessness in State of the City address


By Web Staff
Published: February 24, 2015, 9:51 am
Updated: February 25, 2015, 9:41 am

As one of the priorities Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell spoke about during his State of the City speech Tuesday morning at Foster Botanical Garden, he addressed the heated discussion surrounding the rail system project, or what he called “the big elephant in the park.”

To deal with its increased construction costs, the mayor offered three choices: raising property taxes, stop and tear down what has already been built, and the choice he would prefer, which is the extension of the excise tax surcharge that is set aside for rail past its current deadline of 2022. [...]

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://khon2.com/2015/02/24/caldwell...-city-address/

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Quote:
Are mayor's claims about tourists' share of rail costs true?
Posted: Feb 25, 2015 5:29 PM HST
Updated: Feb 25, 2015 5:37 PM HST
By Keoki Kerr

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The head of a taxpayer advocacy group said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is over estimating the amount of money tourists are paying to help fund the city's rail transit project, but state tax officials backed up Caldwell's assertions Wednesday.

During his state of the city address Tuesday and as he's lobbied state lawmakers, Caldwell said tourists pay about one third of the general excise tax, so that's a way to export part of the cost of the city's nearly $6 billion rail project.

"Why would I as mayor want to give the visitors a break and make all of us pay everything? Let's make the visitors pay one third," Caldwell said in his speech Tuesday. [...]

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...ail-costs-true
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Old April 5th, 2015, 04:06 PM   #213
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- dmca
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Old April 5th, 2015, 04:20 PM   #214
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Quote:
City would lose $3.2 billion if rail is terminated

UPDATED 2:49 PM HST Mar 02, 2015
By Andrew Pereira

HONOLULU —In a Monday letter to Councilman Ikaika Anderson, the head of the transit authority details how much money might be lost should the city turn back the clock on the rail project.

According to HART Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas, contract termination would set the city back $1.4 billion on top of the $1.3 billion that's already been spent. Then there are contract obligations at another $400 million and an estimated $100 million to tear down what's already been built. The grand total equals $3.2 billion, or about half what the rail project is now projected to cost.

Copyright 2015 KITV4. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.kitv.com/news/city-would-...nated/31514178
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Old April 5th, 2015, 04:30 PM   #215
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Quote:
Honolulu law firm to hold public informational meeting on Honolulu Rail Transit


By Web Staff
Published: March 3, 2015, 9:20 am
Updated: March 3, 2015, 11:39 am

Honolulu law firm Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert invites property owners, both businesses and residents, whose rights may be impacted by the Honolulu rail project to attend an informational meeting on Thursday, March 5, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., at the Farrington High School cafeteria, located at 1564 N. King Street. The meeting will cover the rights of owners whose property may be impacted or affected by the rail project by HART (the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit), including eminent domain, the valuation process, relocation benefits, and more. It will also include information specific to the rights of landlords, tenants and business owners. [...]

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://khon2.com/2015/03/03/honolulu...-rail-transit/
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Old April 5th, 2015, 04:49 PM   #216
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Quote:
New bids for Honolulu rail millions above estimates

By Marcel Honoré
POSTED: 02:52 p.m. HST, Mar 03, 2015
LAST UPDATED: 09:31 a.m. HST, Mar 04, 2015

Bids unsealed Tuesday for the Honolulu rail project have again come in above estimates, despite rail officials' efforts to control costs by repackaging work into smaller groups.

The lowest of the five bids that came in to build rail stations at Leeward Community College, Waipahu and West Loch came in from Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. at $78.9 million. The most expensive was submitted by Ralph S. Inouye Co., Ltd., at $117.5 million.

The city, meanwhile, had estimated that work would cost anywhere between $60 million and $75 million.

The bids were the first to be unsealed since officials canceled bids that had come in vastly over budget in the fall.

Copyright 2015 Star Advertiser. All rights reserved
Read full article here: http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/b...l?id=294928481

------------------------------
Quote:
Rail station construction bids still high as HART juggles costs


By Gina Mangieri
Published: March 3, 2015, 3:28 pm
Updated: March 3, 2015, 10:41 pm

Construction contract bids for a group of stations for the Honolulu rail system project were unsealed Tuesday with all amounts higher that the city’s estimates.

Bids were anticipated to be in $60 million-$75 million range. Tuesday’s bids ranged from a low of $79 million to $117.5 million.

The contract would cover stations at Leeward Community College, Waipahu Transit Center and West Loch.

The bids for rail’s Farrington Highway station group are:

Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company – $78,999,000
Hensel Phelps – $88,016,525
Nan Inc. – $85,074,478
Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd. – $117,515,520
Watts Constructors LLC – $88,803,553

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://khon2.com/2015/03/03/rail-sta...juggles-costs/

------------------------------
Quote:
Rail deficit no better after bids for rail stations are opened


UPDATED 8:01 PM HST Mar 03, 2015
By Andrew Pereira

HONOLULU —The projected cost overrun for the city’s contentious rail project will remain at $910 million, or perhaps grow even larger, after the transit authority unveiled five bids Tuesday for the construction of three stations in Waipahu, West Loch and Leeward Community College.

“It's not a matter of saving at this point, it's just really trying to keep to the new estimate that we've got to complete the project," Dan Grabauskas, the head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, told reporters after the bids were unsealed.

The lowest bid was submitted by Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. at $78.99 million. That was followed by Nan, Inc. at $85.07 million, Hensel Phelps at $88.01 million, Watts Constructors LLC at $88.80 million and the Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd. at $117.51 million.

Copyright 2015 KITV4. All rights reserved.
Read full article here:http://www.kitv.com/news/Rail-defici...pened/31600952

------------------------------
EDIT:
Quote:
Honolulu Rail Construction Proposals Millions Higher Than Expected
Despite the seemingly bad news, Honolulu's top transit official is optimistic about future bids based on changes made to the procurement process.


HART employee David Ha, right, announced bid prices for construction of three rail stations around Waipahu.
Picture Credit - Cory Lum/Civil Beat

MARCH 3, 2015
By NICK GRUBE

Construction proposals to build three rail stations came in millions of dollars higher than expected, yet officials remain optimistic that plans to reduce costs are working.

On Tuesday, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation opened bids from five companies vying for a piece of the $6 billion railroad project. The lowest bid was $79 million from Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, which was more than the $65 million to $75 million HART had hoped for in its own estimates.

Other proposals ranged from $85 million to $117 million. HART must now review the bids to make sure all specifications and requirements were met before officially awarding the contract to the lowest bidder. The stations are located at West Loch, Waipahu and Leeward Community College. [...]

Copyright 2015 Civil Beat. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/03/hon...than-expected/

------------------------------
Quote:
Honolulu rail transit station bids come in $4 million above city estimate

Mar 4, 2015, 6:57am HST
By Duane Shimogawa | Reporter - Pacific Business News

The lowest bid for three station contracts for the City and County of Honolulu's rail transit system came in about $4 million above the city's estimate this week, not including a 13 percent contingency.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the city agency overseeing construction of the 20-mile, elevated-rail system, unsealed the bids for the rail stations in the Waipahu area on Tuesday.

Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc. came in with the lowest bid at about $79 million, followed by Nan Inc. at $85 million, Hensel Phelps at $88 million, Watts Constructors at $88.8 million and Ralph S. Inouye at $117.5 million.

Copyright 2015 Pacific Business News. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/b...come-in-4.html
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Old April 5th, 2015, 05:09 PM   #217
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Quote:
HART acquired 34 properties for $70M along Honolulu rail transit route, new report says

Mar 3, 2015, 12:47pm HST
Duane Shimogawa | Reporter - Pacific Business News

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has acquired 34 properties totaling about $70.2 million thus far along the 20-mile rail transit route, including the recent purchase of a former sports bar property near Ala Moana Center for about $1.35 million, the county agency overseeing the project told PBN this week.

The acquisition of the parcel at 1201 Kona St., which is next to a Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory location and which formerly housed the Sports FanAddicts Bar & Grill, was completed in October.

HART's property acquisitions range in price from $22,304 to about $6 million, the latter for the Pearl West Center in Aiea in Central Oahu.

Copyright 2015 Pacific Business News. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/n...-honolulu.html
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Old April 6th, 2015, 03:36 AM   #218
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Quote:
Math Problem: Does Honolulu Rail GET Shortfall Really Add Up?
A review of HART's records on the surcharge suggests lawmakers trying to decide if taxpayers should cough up billions of dollars more in taxes will be hard-pressed to follow the rail project's fuzzy arithmetic.

MARCH 4, 2015
By BOB PORTERFIELD AND NICK GRUBE

Officials at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation had known for months the city’s rail project was headed for serious financial trouble but didn’t fully share that knowledge with the public until last December.

For at least two years HART’s directors received regular updates on the growing shortfall in General Excise Tax surcharge revenues. Two months ago, during an executive session, the board discussed how it planned to lobby state lawmakers to extend the tax past its scheduled expiration date in 2022.

With barely two miles of railroad guideway built, major construction contracts yet to be bid and potential cost overruns and shortfalls estimated as high as $910 million, HART says the current special tax surcharge won’t generate anywhere near enough money to pay for the city’s share of construction or the municipal subsidies needed to operate an integrated rail and bus system that have been estimated to be nearly $6 billion over the next 15 years.

Copyright 2015 Civil Beat. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/03/mat...really-add-up/
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Old April 6th, 2015, 03:41 AM   #219
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Quote:
State Senate to vote on 5-year extension of rail tax


UPDATED 8:20 PM HST Mar 04, 2015
By Andrew Pereira

HONOLULU —The 25-member state Senate will vote on extending Oahu’s half-percent rail tax another five years after the Ways and Means Committee amended an earlier version of SB 19 that would have kept the unpopular tax in place until 2047.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell lobbied members of the Senate’s money committee to keep the surcharge to the state’s general excise tax in place another 25 years, but was eventually rebuked in an 8-2 vote that came at the end of a four hour hearing.

Caldwell argued that building additional spurs to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and downtown Kapolei would require another two decades and a half of funding, which would raise an estimated $12.8 billion in funds. It would also cover the current project shortfall of $910 million.

Copyright 2015 KITV4. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.kitv.com/news/state-senat...l-tax/31622022

------------------------------
Quote:
Senate committee approves 'trimmed' rail tax extension
Posted: Mar 04, 2015 5:20 PM HST
Updated: Mar 04, 2015 5:20 PM HST

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The Senate Ways and Means Committee has approved a bill to extend the half percent excise tax to fund the rail project but for only 5 years.

Senate Bill 19 would have continued the tax until the end of 2047, it's currently set to expire in 2022. However the committee voted 6-to-2 to pass an amended bill, trimming the proposed extension by 20 years. Under the current version of the bill, the tax would expire in 2027.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...-tax-extension

------------------------------
Quote:
Hawaii Legislature: Not So Fast on More Taxes for Rail
After a grueling doubleheader in front of Senate and House committees, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell doesn't get what he wants.


MARCH 4, 2015
By NICK GRUBE

If there was one message state lawmakers wanted to send Wednesday to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and others trying to build the city’s $6 billion rail system, it was this: Show us some skin.

Committees in the House and Senate passed different measures that would severely limit how much tax revenue the city can collect for its beleaguered rail project, which is now facing a nearly $1 billion deficit.

Neither bill would provide what city officials hoped for, which was a long-term extension of the General Excise Tax surcharge that currently funds most of the project.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee scaled down a previous measure, which would have extended the GET for 25 years past its 2022 sunset date, to a five-year extension.

Copyright 2015 Civil Beat. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/03/haw...axes-for-rail/

Last edited by Maksima; April 6th, 2015 at 03:51 AM.
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Old April 6th, 2015, 03:56 AM   #220
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Quote:
City bus service expands with electric hybrids and retrofitted ambulance-bus


By Web Staff
Published: March 9, 2015, 1:55 pm
Updated: March 9, 2015, 7:51 pm

Get ready Honolulu residents, TheBus is about to get a makeover with brand new hybrid electric buses.

At a press conference Monday at the Kalihi Transit Center, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said besides cutting down on pollution and noise, the new buses will also increase fuel economy.

“Because they’re all electric hybrid, we’re saving a lot of money on fuel,” he said. “We’re saving electricity, using oil, and that means more money is staying here on Oahu instead of being shipped off to other places.”

The city now has four hybrid electric buses, which costs a million dollars a piece, and it’s looking into purchasing eight more buses. The current fleet will service the Middle Street route going through Kalihi, downtown, Waikiki and Kapahulu. [...]

Copyright 2015 KHON2. All rights reserved.
Read full article here: http://khon2.com/2015/03/09/city-bus...ambulance-bus/
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