Thursday, August 18, 2011

City Cautiously Advances Rail, Queries Ansaldo

The City’s contract with Ansaldo is on the agenda of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) today. Two committees will meet jointly at 9 am with an agenda that includes a briefing and discussion on the Core Systems Procrement process.

With the State having dismissed appeals by losing bidders Sumitomo and Bombardier, City attorneys have cleared the project to move ahead barring a court-ordered injunction on the Ansaldo contract. Bombardier sued the City earlier this week over the dismissal of its bid early in the process.

HART’s Project Oversight Committee will meet at 10 am to review rail’s monthly progress report, receive an update on property acquisition for the route and discuss the committee's areas of responsibility.

The City has asked Ansaldo for additional information on its parent company's financial strength in light of recent comments by its CEO regarding Ansaldo's performance.

58.7% to 38.3%

These percentages are the average results from three scientific public opinion polls on Honolulu rail in 2008, 2009 and 2011 showing overwhelming support for the project among residents.

As the political season intensifies, any politician running to represent the 1st Congressional District, which encompasses the system’s 20-mile route, presumably will factor these results into the campaign. Failure to endorse the rail project wholeheartedly would be at odds with public opinion and likely result in electoral support much closer to the lower figure than the higher.

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