Ansaldo Breda will operate and maintain the rail system for five years under a separate portion of the core systems contract. The O&M contract presumably will provide jobs for local residents going forward for years.
In the short run, Carlisle said construction will provide 1,000 new jobs this year. Ron Taketa of the Hawaii Carpenters Union told reporters yesterday that 50 percent of his workforce is unemployed.
“The rail represents a real hope that there is a future in our industry, and we look forward to it softening the blow the next two or three times the economy takes a dip,” he said.
Honolulu rail’s first two phases between East Kapolei are expected to be completed by 2015, with the entire 20-mile, 21-station system fully operational by 2019.