You might have thought that the big news about rail came last week, when rail opponents filed a much-anticipated lawsuit to stop the project.

But even as the suit makes its way through the legal system, the project continues to move ahead. And if you wanted to know more about what was happening with rail inside Honolulu Hale this week, Civil Beat was the place to turn.

Reporter-host Robert Brown started us off this week with a story that looked at who is on the board of the new rail agency that will make all the decisions regarding Oahu’s transit project.

As it turns out, the vast majority of them don’t live anywhere near the proposed route. Six of them live east of the final station and may never use the train in their daily commute. Incidentally, when we looked at who makes up public face of opposition through the same lens, we found that they, too, mostly live far away from the proposed route:

The rail agency has become a lightning rod for controversy on another level, too. There’s serious disagreement between the City Council members and Mayor Peter Carlisle’s administration about who should have oversight of the new agency’s budget. A council budget meeting earlier this week turned into a pitched fight over the issue:

Adrienne LaFrance helped us wrap up the week with the kinds of questions that don’t come up in day-to-day meetings.

Lastly, we have a question for Honolulu City Council members Breene Harimoto and Ernie Martin: It’s been three weeks since you’ve returned from a taxpayer-funded, rail fact-finding trip to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Copenhagen. When can we expect to see your report about it?

Coming up next week, we’ll delve into who’s really behind the rail lawsuit. The answer might be more surprising than you think.

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