The Board of Directors of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation chose longtime board member Damien Kim on Thursday to serve as chairman.

Kim has been on the board since it was created, most recently as vice chair. He is the business manager and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1186, where he manages more than $500 million in trust fund money, according to his profile on the HART website. He has been a licensed electrician since 1990.

HART Board Vice Chair Damien Kim during HART board meeting Alii Place. 16 june 2016.
Damien Kim during a HART board meeting in June. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Kim, whose second five-year term on the board ends in mid-2019, replaces Colleen Hanabusa, elected this week to the congressional seat left open by the death of Rep. Mark Takai in July. In the Honolulu mayoral race, Kim endorsed Charles Djou, who lost Tuesday to incumbent Kirk Caldwell.

Kim said he was committed to continuing Hanabusa’s efforts to make the troubled rail project more transparent. The 20-mile, 21-station line, which is supposed to go from East Kapolei to the Ala Moana Center, is now expected to cost $8.6 billion and not open until December 2025.

When the city signed an agreement with the Federal Transit Administration in 2012, the project was supposed to cost only $5.2 billion, with trains running in 2019.

The board also chose attorney Terrence Lee as vice chairman. Lee is a partner in the law firm Sullivan Meheula Lee. His five-year term runs until mid-2020.

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