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December 2021

December 01, 2021

Honolulu City Council Approves A New 3% Hotel Tax For Oahu Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Honolulu City Council Approves A New 3% Hotel Tax For Oahu

The city’s troubled rail project would receive much of the new revenue despite objections to that plan from some critics of rail.

November 2021

November 24, 2021

New HART Report Floats Some Cheerier Budget Possibilities Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

New HART Report Floats Some Cheerier Budget Possibilities

Report by a committee of HART board members claims there may be hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue or cost savings to be had.

November 23, 2021

Honolulu Rail Holds Onto Federal Funds And Buys Time To Craft Recovery Plan Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Honolulu Rail Holds Onto Federal Funds And Buys Time To Craft Recovery Plan

UPDATED: The FTA has been withholding the local transit project’s federal dollars for the past seven years as its struggles have mounted.

November 17, 2021

HART Releases A Lower Estimate To Build Rail As City Council Debates Funding Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

HART Releases A Lower Estimate To Build Rail As City Council Debates Funding

Current funding will get the rail line to Chinatown, but it needs to get at least to downtown to be functional, city leaders say.

November 09, 2021

HART Has A Plan To Fix Rail Tracks But Lacks Welders To Do The Work Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

HART Has A Plan To Fix Rail Tracks But Lacks Welders To Do The Work

A new report gives the rail agency the green light to replace the steel wheels instead of the track crossings.

November 02, 2021

Fevella Sues HART Over Its Changes To Voting Rules Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Fevella Sues HART Over Its Changes To Voting Rules

The West Oahu legislator has become an especially vocal critic of the local rail agency.

October 2021

October 14, 2021

HART Approves More Legal Fees For Looming Trial Against Howard Hughes Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

HART Approves More Legal Fees For Looming Trial Against Howard Hughes

The high-stakes battle could involve a claim of more than $200 million in damages, according to the rail agency.

HART Says It Didn’t Get A Key Report On Track Woes. The Contractor Says Otherwise Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART Says It Didn’t Get A Key Report On Track Woes. The Contractor Says Otherwise

The much-anticipated analysis will shed light on a major problem that must be fixed before interim rail service can start.

October 11, 2021

HART: Howard Hughes To Seek $200 Million In Rail Condemnation Suit Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART: Howard Hughes To Seek $200 Million In Rail Condemnation Suit

The city’s legal costs in the eminent domain battle started at $4.6 million. Now, they’re poised to exceed $23 million.

October 06, 2021

HART Effort To Hire Welders To Fix Rail Tracks Falls Flat Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART Effort To Hire Welders To Fix Rail Tracks Falls Flat

How big of an impact that will have remains unclear. HART won’t discuss the situation.

September 2021

September 29, 2021

Faced With Unwieldy Voting Rules, Honolulu Rail Board Simply Scrapped Them Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Faced With Unwieldy Voting Rules, Honolulu Rail Board Simply Scrapped Them

UPDATED: For four years, after the Legislature added seats, the rail board required eight ‘yes’ votes to pass measures, but recently decided it needs only six.

September 19, 2021

John Pritchett: End Game John Pritchett/Civil Beat/2021

John Pritchett: End Game

Things are looking worse and worse for the beleaguered Honolulu rail project. Cost overruns. Construction defects. Staff turnover. When does it all end?

September 10, 2021

HART Sheds More Staff, Including Its Latest Chief Financial Officer Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART Sheds More Staff, Including Its Latest Chief Financial Officer

The changes come amid the HART board’s private discussions on future leadership at the agency.

September 09, 2021

HART, HECO At Odds Over Who Caused A $34 Million Change Order To Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

HART, HECO At Odds Over Who Caused A $34 Million Change Order To Rail

HART says HECO’s new safety standards were the problem. The utility, meanwhile, blames shoddy and delayed design work by a rail contractor.

August 2021

August 20, 2021

Rail Canopy Defects Cost Another $15 Million. Are Taxpayers Liable? Marcel Honore/Civil Beat

Rail Canopy Defects Cost Another $15 Million. Are Taxpayers Liable?

The canopy arms have caused numerous problems. It’s not yet clear who’s responsible and who ultimately should pay to fix them.

August 18, 2021

Emerging Plan Would Pump Hotel Room Tax Revenue Into Rail Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Emerging Plan Would Pump Hotel Room Tax Revenue Into Rail

HART is looking into helping to cover a $3.6 billion shortfall with a share of a new 3% city hotel tax, but the City Council is noncommittal and the hotel industry is wary.

August 12, 2021

HART Warns That Wandering On The Electrified Rail Line Could Be Deadly Courtesy: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

HART Warns That Wandering On The Electrified Rail Line Could Be Deadly

A group of trespassers recently breached a station and wandered onto the elevated track, prompting the warning.

August 11, 2021

Narrow Council Vote Propels Anthony Aalto Onto The HART Board Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2016

Narrow Council Vote Propels Anthony Aalto Onto The HART Board

No prior board nominee in HART’s decade-long history received the same public scrutiny over qualifications and potential conflicts as Aalto did, reflecting a growing unease with the project.

August 09, 2021

For Cost Overruns, Honolulu Rail Is In A League Of Its Own, New Data Shows Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

For Cost Overruns, Honolulu Rail Is In A League Of Its Own, New Data Shows

A former FTA planning director says it’s time to pause and study the best path forward for the troubled transit project.

August 04, 2021

Council Members Call For Honolulu Rail Critic To Stay On HART Board Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Council Members Call For Honolulu Rail Critic To Stay On HART Board

Updated: The nomination of Joe Uno’s proposed replacement, Anthony Aalto, could go before the full City Council next week.