Honolulu Authority For Rapid Transportation

| Suggest an Edit

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is a semi-autonomous city agency responsible for constructing, maintaining and operating the Honolulu Rail Project on Oahu.

HART was formed after voters approved a city charter amendment in November 2010 to create the agency, which will manage the elevated rail line that will run from West Oahu to Ala Moana.

City officials estimate the project will cost about $10 billion to construct.

To form HART, the city’s Rapid Transit Division split off from the Department of Transportation Services and become its own agency.

The cost to run HART in its first year is about $21 million, according to the city’s budget website. Employees of HART officially began work on July 1, 2011.

HART will set the fares and fees of the rail transit system, purchase land, choose contracts, and seek federal grants, among other operational duties.

According to HART’s board resource notebook, the HART “vision statement” is:

  • Mobility: Improving mobility for all residents, visitors and businesses on Oahu, particularly in the densely populated and congested corridor along the urbanized southern shore of the island.
  • Reliability: Improving the reliability of travel in the corridor by offering a travel choice that will not be subject to at-grade level traffic congestion.
  • Land Use: Supporting the City’s land development policy by providing access to an area targeted for development of a new urban center and helping create transit-oriented development along the rail line.
  • Equity: Providing people who are dependent on public transportation with an improved means of accessing economic and social opportunities and activities.
  • Sustainability: Protecting the environment and lessening dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels.

In early 2011, oversight of HART’s budget became a matter of dispute between, then mayor,  Peter Carlisle and the Honolulu City Council. Carlisle argued the City Council did not have the authority to approve HART’s budget but the council disagreed. Both sides appeared for a time to be headed to court but later settled the matter.

Carlisle and the Honolulu City Council contributed a total of six selections — three each — to the 10-member board of HART.

The revised group of ten members of the HART board are:

  • Chair Damien Kim, business manager and financial secretary of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1186.
  • Hoyt Zia, former corporate counsel for Hawaiian Airlines.
  • Glenn Nohara, board chair of Koda Engineering and Construction and civil engineer.
  • Terrence Lee, partner at Sullivan Mehoula Lee.
  • John Henry Felix, career in business, government, labor-management, community service, diplomacy and education.
  • Terri Fujii, audit partner at CW Associates.
  • Wes Frysztacki, director at Transportation Services and civil and traffic engineer.
  • Ford Fuchigami, director of state Department of Transportation.
  • Kathy Sokugawa, acting director of Honolulu Planning Department.
  • Ember Shinn, Honolulu managing director and general counsel for large school district in California.

HART board members are considered volunteers and will begin work on a six-year capital program. The plan must be completed in the first six months of the full board’s existence.

History

Honolulu voters approved the formation of HART in November 2010.

The amendment asked voters if they supported revising the city charter to create a semi-autonomous public transit authority to manage the city’s mass transit system.

Have feedback? Suggestions? Email Us!

Honolulu Authority For Rapid Transportation
Here’s Who Might Get Stung Hardest By Any New Rail Taxes Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Here’s Who Might Get Stung Hardest By Any New Rail Taxes

Critics say one of the options to pay for the over-budget Honolulu rail project — extending the general excise tax — would unfairly burden the poor.

Waipahu Businesses Have Hopes For Rail — If They Can Survive Construction Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Waipahu Businesses Have Hopes For Rail — If They Can Survive Construction

With some owners reporting a sharp decline in customers, the Honolulu City Council has set aside $2 million for property tax relief for struggling businesses.

Honolulu Rail Project’s Budget Increased By 11.5 Percent Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Rail Project’s Budget Increased By 11.5 Percent

The HART board unanimously approved a budget increase to pay for rising staff and equipment costs, as well as a bump in executive salaries.

How HART Tried — And Failed — To Keep Rail Records Secret Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How HART Tried — And Failed — To Keep Rail Records Secret

The agency fought to keep the public from knowing what the Utah Transit Authority found during a study. So we got the records from Utah — in four days.

Council Puts Taxpayers On The Hook To Ensure Rail Work Continues Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Council Puts Taxpayers On The Hook To Ensure Rail Work Continues

A bill approved Wednesday allows issuing up to $350 million in bonds to prevent the project from running out of money.

Civil Beat Poll: Caldwell Is As Unpopular As Trump In Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Civil Beat Poll: Caldwell Is As Unpopular As Trump In Hawaii

The Honolulu mayor has a dismal approval rating, and the city’s $10 billion rail project is probably to blame.

Feds Anxious To Know How Honolulu Will Pay For Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Feds Anxious To Know How Honolulu Will Pay For Rail

With no agreement on new tax increases for rail, the city still can’t tell federal officials how they’ll cover the price tag for completing the 20-mile long project.

Honolulu Rail: Caldwell’s Lack Of Leadership Is A Continuing Problem Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

Honolulu Rail: Caldwell’s Lack Of Leadership Is A Continuing Problem

Mayor Kirk Caldwell should be working to pull people together to solve the rail issue. Instead, he’s pointing fingers — and not at himself.

City And Tourist Industry Blast Hotel Tax Hike As A Bad Idea Cory Lum/Civil Beat

City And Tourist Industry Blast Hotel Tax Hike As A Bad Idea

Critics say the the proposed 30% increase would leave Honolulu with one of the highest hotel tax rates in the country.

Cayetano To Trump: Cut Honolulu Rail Funds Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Cayetano To Trump: Cut Honolulu Rail Funds

UPDATE: The former Hawaii governor is asking the president to withhold $800 million in federal money for the rail project.

Report: Rail Could Save Big With Private Financing Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Report: Rail Could Save Big With Private Financing

The report, commissioned by the Ulupono Initiative, suggests a new kind of contracting for finishing the troubled project

Experts Tell Honolulu Rail What Needs To Be Fixed Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Experts Tell Honolulu Rail What Needs To Be Fixed

Despite meeting “best practices” in several areas, the project has room for improvement in others, panel finds.