Former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was appointed to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board of Directors by Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday.

Hanabusa will replace Carrie Okinaga, a former city attorney who recently took a job with the University of Hawaii. Okinaga was once the chairwoman of the HART board.

In the fading sun Rep. Colleen Hanabusa gets in her last sign waving session in Puna close to the 6pm closure of the polls on August 15, 2014.

Former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa will help oversee Honolulu’s over-budget rail project.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The Hanabusa appointment to the volunteer board comes shortly after the Legislature voted to extend a 0.5 percent General Excise Tax surcharge for rail by five years to bail out the cash-strapped project.

Officials have said the project faces a shortfall of up to $910 million.

Hanabusa is a labor attorney, who most recently began took on the Hawaii State Teachers Association as a client. She ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 losing in a tight race to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

The 10-member HART board is tasked with overseeing the $6 billion rail project, which will run from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.


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