Tuesday, February 15, 2011

$250 Million Budgeted for Honolulu Rail Project

President Obama’s FY 2012 budget includes more than $1 billion for pending transit projects, including $250 million for Honolulu’s 20-mile elevated system between Kapolei and Ala Moana Center.

Inclusion of the project in the budget is more affirmation of the Administration’s support for the project. U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood said in February last year that Honolulu rail and other projects “are critical investments that will boost economic vitality….”

Honolulu is in line for a Full Funding Grant Agreement totaling $1.55 billion. The quarter-million in the new budget is part of the total.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), who knows his way around Capitol Hill as a member of Congress since 1959 and is in his eighth senatorial term, is a key Washington ally in retaining the item in the budget.

“It is encouraging that President Obama, a born-and-raised Honolulu man all too familiar with Oahu’s traffic woes, is dedicated to helping create jobs and lessen Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil by providing an affordable alternative to driving,” he said.

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