Civil Beat Topics

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

Honolulu City Council Approves Rail Tax Extension Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu City Council Approves Rail Tax Extension

The extra tax money will go toward paying for cost overruns and revenue shortfalls on the $6.6 billion project.

Five Unanswered Questions About Honolulu’s $6.6 Billion Rail Project Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Five Unanswered Questions About Honolulu’s $6.6 Billion Rail Project

Even as City Council members decide whether to keep the cash flowing, uncertainty looms over Hawaii’s biggest public works endeavor.

HART OKs New Contract For Rail Stations Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART OKs New Contract For Rail Stations

The apparent low bidder to build stations at Aloha Stadium, Pearl Ridge and Pearl Highlands did not meet HART specifications.

City Council Considers Killing Proposed Cap On Honolulu Rail Tax Cory Lum/Civil Beat

City Council Considers Killing Proposed Cap On Honolulu Rail Tax

Honolulu’s City Council will keep debating whether to cap how much money from a five-year GET extension should go to its cash-hungry rail project.

Honolulu Rail Budget In Limbo Until City Council Acts Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Rail Budget In Limbo Until City Council Acts

The $6.6 billion project hangs in the balance until Honolulu’s City Council votes on a 5-year tax extension to cover a $1 billion-plus deficit.

HART Finds Savings With Latest Honolulu Rail Bids Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

HART Finds Savings With Latest Honolulu Rail Bids

The $6.6 billion project still faces a $1 billion-plus deficit, but the latest construction bids are within current projections.

Is Honolulu Rail Project’s Future At Stake In Dispute Over Council’s Budget Role? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Is Honolulu Rail Project’s Future At Stake In Dispute Over Council’s Budget Role?

Cost overruns and a need for more money give City Council members leverage to exert more influence over the $6.6 billion rail project.

City Budget Committee Mulls Tougher Line, Possible Cap on Rail Spending Cory Lum/Civil Beat

City Budget Committee Mulls Tougher Line, Possible Cap on Rail Spending

Mayor, City Council Chairman agree they want more accountability on rail project — but differ on how hard a line to draw.

Honolulu Rail’s Big Cash Problem Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Rail’s Big Cash Problem

The City Council’s budget committee will weigh extending a half-percent tax Wednesday — and whether to cap rail funding in favor of other priorities.

HART Board Waiting on Honolulu City Council for Rail Cash Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HART Board Waiting on Honolulu City Council for Rail Cash

The rail agency needs to issue debt to help with an impending cash flow problem, but there’s still a quandary surrounding several rail votes that were made under questionable circumstances.

Honolulu Rail Consultant Under Ethics Probe for Boat Trip with Contractor Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Rail Consultant Under Ethics Probe for Boat Trip with Contractor

An anonymous complaint raises questions about just how close rail contractors are to one another and whether they can provide effective oversight of one another.

Key Rail Contractor Tangled Up in Fraud Allegations in Hawaii Courts Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Key Rail Contractor Tangled Up in Fraud Allegations in Hawaii Courts

Nan Inc. recently won a $56 million contract to build three West Oahu rail stations. The company, which has taken advantage of federal minority business programs, is at the center of state and federal lawsuits alleging questionable business practices.

Rail Operating Costs: A Looming Financial Crisis That Will Cost Taxpayers Billions Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Rail Operating Costs: A Looming Financial Crisis That Will Cost Taxpayers Billions

HART’s best guess is that running the trains will cost at least $1.7 billion for just the first 12 years. City financial documents suggest officials likely will raise property taxes to pay for operations and maintenance.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Bunda Stepping Down from HART Board HART

Robert ‘Bobby’ Bunda Stepping Down from HART Board

The former lawmaker has been overseeing the Honolulu rail project since 2011. He says he’s leaving to spend time with family.

Inside the Rail Checkbook: More than $1 Billion Spent but Few Details to Go Along With It Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Inside the Rail Checkbook: More than $1 Billion Spent but Few Details to Go Along With It

A lack of information about how the city has spent more than $1.4 billion in public money is prompting concerns by the governor and City Council members.

January 2016

Wednesday, January 27

Honolulu City Council Approves Rail Tax Extension

Tuesday, January 12

Five Unanswered Questions About Honolulu’s $6.6 Billion Rail Project

December 2015

Tuesday, December 22

HART OKs New Contract For Rail Stations

Wednesday, December 9

City Council Considers Killing Proposed Cap On Honolulu Rail Tax

November 2015

Tuesday, November 24

Honolulu Rail Budget In Limbo Until City Council Acts

Tuesday, November 17

HART Finds Savings With Latest Honolulu Rail Bids

Thursday, November 12

Is Honolulu Rail Project’s Future At Stake In Dispute Over Council’s Budget Role?

October 2015

Wednesday, October 21

City Budget Committee Mulls Tougher Line, Possible Cap on Rail Spending

Honolulu Rail’s Big Cash Problem

Thursday, October 15

HART Board Waiting on Honolulu City Council for Rail Cash

September 2015

Friday, September 11

Honolulu Rail Consultant Under Ethics Probe for Boat Trip with Contractor

August 2015

Thursday, August 20

Key Rail Contractor Tangled Up in Fraud Allegations in Hawaii Courts

June 2015

Thursday, June 11

Rail Operating Costs: A Looming Financial Crisis That Will Cost Taxpayers Billions

May 2015

Friday, May 15

Robert ‘Bobby’ Bunda Stepping Down from HART Board

Wednesday, May 13

Inside the Rail Checkbook: More than $1 Billion Spent but Few Details to Go Along With It

Tuesday, May 5

Honolulu Rail Tax Extension Clears the Legislature

Council Chair: No ‘Easy Sell’ for Honolulu Rail Tax

April 2015

Wednesday, April 22

Civil Beat Poll: Most Voters Oppose Honolulu Rail Tax Extension

Thursday, April 16

Now You Can Watch HART Meetings In Your Pajamas

Monday, April 13

Secret Subcontractors: What Honolulu Rail Officials Aren’t Telling You

Tuesday, April 7

Senators Give Honolulu Rail ‘A Great Deal of Opportunity’

Monday, April 6

Is Ige On Board With Extending Honolulu Rail Tax?

Wednesday, April 1

Tension Bubbles Between Honolulu City Council and HART

March 2015

Monday, March 30

Railing Against Honolulu’s $6 Billion Rail Project

Lawmakers to Hold Community Town Hall Meeting on Rail

Honolulu Rail: Big Questions Demand a Legislative Special Session

Wednesday, March 25

Frequent Fliers: Nearly $500K Spent on Rail Travel to Date

Wednesday, March 4

Math Problem: Does Honolulu Rail GET Shortfall Really Add Up?

Tuesday, March 3

Honolulu Rail Construction Proposals Millions Higher Than Expected

February 2015

Wednesday, February 11

HART: Rail Could Run Out of Cash By This Summer

Monday, February 2

Large Rail Contractors Dump $1.3 Million into Local Campaign Coffers

January 2015

Friday, January 30

At Least $1.25B Has Been Spent on Rail So Far, But Where Has All the Money Gone?

Thursday, January 22

Honolulu Rail Deficit Could Be Closer to $1 Billion

November 2014

Thursday, November 27

The Projector: Pre-holiday Food Bank, UH Football and Where Rail Meets Highway

September 2014

Monday, September 15

County Councils Agree to Lobby State for More Hotel Tax Revenue

November 2012

Monday, November 19

FTA Says It Will Sign $1.55 Billion Deal For Honolulu Rail Project

September 2012

Wednesday, September 12

Where Is Honolulu Rail’s Federal Funding?

July 2012

Wednesday, July 11

Honolulu Rail PR Contractors Whacked

June 2012

Thursday, June 28

Updated Rail Finance Plan Part of Formal Federal Funding Request

Thursday, June 7

Race To The Finish For Federal Rail Money

Filipino PR Flap Enflames Rail Talks

April 2012

Friday, April 13

New Rail Chief Sees Himself as Intermediary Between Council, Feds

Honolulu Council Keeps Rail Budget Intact

March 2012

Tuesday, March 27

Line of Credit ‘Big Piece’ Outstanding in Federal Rail Funding

Wednesday, March 7

Are Honolulu Rail Backers’ New Radio Ads Accurate?

Thursday, March 1

Civil Beat Poll – Honolulu Rail Authority Hasn’t Won Voters’ Confidence

February 2012

Wednesday, February 29

Off the Beat: What About the Mayor’s Calls for Transparency?

Monday, February 27

New Honolulu Rail Chief Was Late, Over Budget on His Biggest Project

Friday, February 24

HART Taps New Rail Chief: Grabauskas from Boston

Thursday, February 16

Time to Get Serious About Rail Conversation

Friday, February 10

Just How Deep Will Honolulu Rail’s Debt Be?

Monday, February 6

Feds Green Light Honolulu Rail Construction

Thursday, February 2

Does Line-of-Credit Rail Plan Leave Honolulu Taxpayers on Hook?

January 2012

Friday, January 27

Off The Beat: So Much For Independent Rail

Money In The Bank Or ‘Bells and Whistles’ If Honolulu Rail Costs Less?

Emergency Rail Plan: Taxpayers Have Our Back

Friday, January 20

Cayetano: Rail A Wall of Concrete Snaking Along Honolulu’s Waterfront

Thursday, January 19

Cayetano: I’m Not a One-Issue Anti-Rail Candidate

Wednesday, January 18

Honolulu Officials Unlikely To Try To Extend Rail Tax

What Does the FTA Want From Honolulu Rail?

Wednesday, January 11

Could Honolulu’s Mayor Stop Rail Project?

Thursday, January 5

Honolulu to Feds: OK Rail Work Or Costs Rise $100M

December 2011

Friday, December 30

Feds OK Final Rail Design Work, But Demand Stronger Financial Plan

Carrie Okinaga’s New Gig: First Hawaiian Lawyer

November 2011

Tuesday, November 29

HART Signs $1.4 Billion Contract With Ansaldo

Saturday, November 26

What Convinced Honolulu Rail Officials That Ansaldo Could Do The Job?

Thursday, November 17

HART Will Delay Ansaldo Contract

October 2011

Tuesday, October 25

‘Intermodal Pete’ and the Tale of Two Bus Stations

Thursday, October 13

HART: Full Steam Ahead For Ansaldo Rail Contract

Friday, October 7

Rail Price Drops Again In New Draft Financial Plan

September 2011

Thursday, September 29

Contract Dispute Moves From Court Room To City Council Chambers

Wednesday, September 14

Honolulu Rail Agreed to Pay Lobbyist $300,000

Thursday, September 8

Civil Beat Catches Rail Leaders Trying to Go ‘Deep Undercover’ in Washington

What We Learned From the Ansaldo Teleconference

Inside Honolulu: September 8 – LIVE BLOG – HART Questions Ansaldo

Friday, September 2

Honolulu Rail Authority Follows Abercrombie Secrecy Doctrine

Mayor: Foes ‘Hostile to Rail’ Deliberately Misleading the Public

August 2011

Friday, August 26

Honolulu Rail Asks Losing Bidder to Extend Offer — Just In Case

Saturday, August 20

New Twist in Case Against Ansaldo — Lack of License

Thursday, August 18

HART Uses Kid Gloves on Controversial Rail Contract

Monday, August 15

State Rejects Sumitomo Appeal, Clears Path for Honolulu Rail

Friday, August 12

VIDEO — Newsmaker: Talk Live With Honolulu Transportation Director Wayne Yoshioka

Thursday, August 11

Now Driving Honolulu’s Money Train: Don Horner

Thursday, August 4

HART Can’t Get Ansaldo Money Answers — Yet

July 2011

Friday, July 22

Recent Rail Tax Revenues a Pleasant Surprise for City

Saturday, July 16

Is HART Board Member’s Link to Biggest Rail Landowner a Conflict?

Saturday, July 2

HART Convenes, Adopts Budget, Won’t Sue Council

June 2011

Monday, June 27

Council Overrides HART Vetoes; Next Stop, Court?