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MEDIA RELEASE from Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
CONTACT: Joe Kent, (808) 987-7322 or jkent@grassrootinstitute.org

HONOLULU, June 15, 2018 >> A leading board member of the Honolulu Area Rapid Transportation (HART) is worried that the semi-autonomous city agency may be in violation of its funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

John Henry Felix, a prominent Honolulu businessman and former 16-year City Council member who has been on the board for two years, told the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii that HART’s Full Funding Grant Agreement with the FTA requires HART to “achieve revenue operations” (i.e., start collecting fares from rail passengers) by Jan. 31, 2020 (see page 6).

HART’s plan, however, currently is estimating that the project will meet this goal in December 2025 (page 14).

Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D., president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, said he was grateful to Felix for pointing out the apparent conflict between the “revenue operations” schedules of the FTA and HART, as it is one more indication of the cost and transparency issues that have been dogging the wildly over-budget and behind-schedule rail project.

“Being five years behind schedule is more than just a delay; it’s potentially a violation of the contract with the federal government,” he said. “This further points to the need for a full forensic audit for fraud, waste and abuse.”

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For interviews with Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D., contact Joe Kent, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii vice president of research, (808) 987-7322 or jkent@grassrootinstitute.org.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and educational institution devoted to promoting individual liberty, economic freedom and accountable government.