Federal Transit Administration withholding rail transit funding until February 2020

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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) letter to Honolulu Rail Transit (HART) says it has concerns with the continued slippage of awarding contracts to build the City Center Guideway. So the FTA will not release the first installment of the $744 million until February of next year. HART was expecting it by July this year. The CEO of HART, Andrew Robbins says he was prepared for the delay and it will not mean additional interest payments. Thats because the FTA will be putting in more per month in latest proposal.

“Over all it might actually be advantageous so in the short term he will continue to use local money but over all it would not be a major hit on the project at all,” said HART CEO Andrew Robbins.

The FTA proposal starts with $100 million in February and another $150 million in August next year.

Annually FTA will provide $250 million next year, $150 million the next two years, $100 million in 2023 and the rest of the $744 million in the two years after that.
The FTA also wants the city to pay more of its share starting in fiscal year 2022. But Robbins says that’s because the FTA is confusing administrative costs with operating costs.

“The yearly requirement that we have as a project from the city for a greatly reduced and we’re not sure if FTA really understands or appreciates that and I think it’s going to take more dialogue with them,” said Robbins.

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