On July 21, 2016, the Federal Transit Administration responded to Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s request in June for an extension on a financial recovery plan for the Honolulu rail project.

Caldwell asked for an extension until June 2017 from the initial deadline of August 7, 2016. The mayor cited uncertainty with elections on the federal, state, and county level. Caldwell said he wanted a recovery plan that included 20 miles of track and 21 stations.

The FTA’s response was that the recovery plan be submitted no later than the end of this calendar year. The FTA also highlighted that HART needs to meet with them in August to discuss milestones and deliverables that should culminate with a plan by the end of Sept. 2016

“FTA is obliged to protect the public’s very substantial investment in the Project…” Carolyn Flowers, FTA Acting Administrator wrote in the letter.

The FTA said that HART “must make the fundamental choice to either reduce the scope of the Project, consistent with the financial resources currently available, or seek additional, non-Federal resources to complete the functional scope of work under our Full Funding Grant Agreement of December 2012, or undertake some combination of these.”

Flowers cautioned the city to “refrain from procurements or other actions that would foreclose viable options for maximizing Project benefits or prejudice FTA’s decision of a Recovery Plan.”

In a press release, Mayor Kirk Caldwell responded, “We look forward to working with the FTA next month on developing intermediate milestones and deliverables for an interim plan. At the same time we will be putting together our recovery plan due in December that addresses their concerns regarding costs, impacts to ridership, and functionality.”