Special Correspondent

Bob Porterfield

Honolulu Rail’s Big Cash Problem Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Rail’s Big Cash Problem

The City Council's budget committee will weigh extending a half-percent tax Wednesday -- and whether to cap rail funding in favor of other priorities.
HART Board Waiting on Honolulu City Council for Rail Cash Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART Board Waiting on Honolulu City Council for Rail Cash

The rail agency needs to issue debt to help with an impending cash flow problem, but there's still a quandary surrounding several rail votes that were made under questionable circumstances.
HART Pushes Back When Company Seeks to Withdraw Low Construction Bid Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART Pushes Back When Company Seeks to Withdraw Low Construction Bid

Nan Inc.'s $56 million bid was lower than expected, but then the firm sought to pull out of the contract to build three west Oahu stations.
Key Rail Contractor Tangled Up in Fraud Allegations in Hawaii Courts Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Key Rail Contractor Tangled Up in Fraud Allegations in Hawaii Courts

Nan Inc. recently won a $56 million contract to build three West Oahu rail stations. The company, which has taken advantage of federal minority business programs, is at the center of state and federal lawsuits alleging questionable business practices.
Rail Operating Costs: A Looming Financial Crisis That Will Cost Taxpayers Billions Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Rail Operating Costs: A Looming Financial Crisis That Will Cost Taxpayers Billions

HART's best guess is that running the trains will cost at least $1.7 billion for just the first 12 years. City financial documents suggest officials likely will raise property taxes to pay for operations and maintenance.
Inside the Rail Checkbook: More than $1 Billion Spent but Few Details to Go Along With It Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Inside the Rail Checkbook: More than $1 Billion Spent but Few Details to Go Along With It

A lack of information about how the city has spent more than $1.4 billion in public money is prompting concerns by the governor and City Council members.
Secret Subcontractors: What Honolulu Rail Officials Aren’t Telling You Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Secret Subcontractors: What Honolulu Rail Officials Aren’t Telling You

HART officials insist they don't have the authority to know how much subcontractors are being paid, but contract documents suggest otherwise.
Math Problem: Does Honolulu Rail GET Shortfall Really Add Up? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Math Problem: Does Honolulu Rail GET Shortfall Really Add Up?

A review of HART's records on the surcharge suggests lawmakers trying to decide if taxpayers should cough up billions of dollars more in taxes will be hard-pressed to follow the rail project's fuzzy arithmetic.
At Least $1.25B Has Been Spent on Rail So Far, But Where Has All the Money Gone? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

At Least $1.25B Has Been Spent on Rail So Far, But Where Has All the Money Gone?

The rail project has been in the works for more than 10 years but city and HART officials still can't — or won't — say what the money has been spent on. Secrecy over tens of millions of dollars in payments to subcontractors is only one troubling aspect.