Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ansaldo Choice Upheld; FTA Reaffirms $55M

The city has rejected challenges to the selection of Ansaldo Honolulu to design, build, operate and maintain the Honolulu rail system. Two losing bidders had filed the protest, and one of them already has said it will file an appeal, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

In other news of the day, Hawaii’s congressional delegation jointly announced that the Federal Transit Administration’s funding of the rail project in the current fiscal year will be $55 million, which a joint press release said “is identical to the amount requested in President Obama’s FY2011 budget.”

Senator Daniel Inouye’s statement said:

“I am very pleased that the federal government recognizes the importance of this critical transportation project. Federal funds are hard to come by in the current budget climate and the fact that Honolulu will receive everything the President asked for is very encouraging. This project will bring welcome relief to thousands of commuters who are forced to spend hours in their cars on congested roadways. We have planned this project and debated its merits for decades and we must press forward. I remain committed to this project and will continue to do everything I can to direct federal funds to the work and ensure its timely completion.”

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who represents Hawaii’s 1st District (primarily urban Honolulu), added:

“These funds are not only a reflection of the federal government’s continued commitment towards the Honolulu Rail Transit Project, but it also shows that President Obama and Congress understand how much Hawaii needs this mass transit option. This project will ease gridlock on Oahu’s roadways and help create jobs for our residents. Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation will continue to work to support this project.”

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