An additional five employees have either recently left or are about to leave the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. They represent the latest round of staff to depart the local rail agency, which has seen extensive turnover in its decade or so of existence.

Among HART’s recently departed is the agency’s most recent chief financial officer, Ruth Lohr, who’s been in that job since 2018. Also gone is David Conrad, who worked on rail’s property acquisition efforts. Brian Lewis, who helped oversee rail’s utility relocation efforts along the line’s last four miles, including Dillingham Boulevard, will leave soon, according to HART spokesman Joey Manahan.

1099 Alakea Street Alii Place
HART’s offices are located at Alii Place in downtown Honolulu. Several more employees serving in various roles are leaving the rail agency, which has seen extensive turnover. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Manahan declined to provide further details on the departures, citing personnel matters. It’s not clear whether the recent departures are part of HART Interim Executive Director Lori Kahikina’s earlier drive to save cosst by streamlining the agency.

Nearly half the agency’s staff was purged under that effort, and the severity of the cuts concerned rail’s federal overseers. Kahikina, however, said the move was justified with so little construction work happening on rail’s final four miles to Ala Moana.

Kahikina has a one-year contract in the interim role that runs through December, and the HART board’s Human Resources Committee has been reviewing her job performance in closed session on a quarterly basis. Recently, the committee has met to discuss an “employment agreement for the executive director and CEO.”

Its members discussed that matter for about 45 minutes Thursday in executive session.

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