Skip to comments.Hawaii Senator Reiterates Federal Support for [$5 billion Hawaii] Rail
Posted on 07/10/2012 7:27:29 PM PDT by kevcol
Rail opponents, including mayoral candidate and former Gov. Ben Cayetano, are "misinformed" if they believe the Federal Transit Administration does not support the city's $5.26 billion project, U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye said.
Meeting with reporters Tuesday in his office at the Honolulu federal building, Inouye was asked about Cayetano's contention that the city's rail project stands little chance of securing federal funds because of competition such as California's high-speed rail project, which is several times the size of Oahu's.
"Well, if that's the case, there's some people who are misinformed," Inouye said. "The largest amount for any new project was Hawaii's project -- $250 million."
For the coming 2013 budget, the Obama administration had proposed $250 million in federal New Starts funding for Honolulu's planned 20-mile rail line, and the Senate Appropriations Committee, led by Inouye, included the same amount in the Senate committee draft of the budget.
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee last month approved a budget that would cut $150 million from Hawaii's project in fiscal year 2013.
"When we go into conference, I will do my utmost to make certain that it's restored," Inouye said Tuesday. "I hope to get all of it.
Cayetano, who previously called Inouye "out of touch" on the rail issue, said he thinks the senator will work hard to restore the funding, but the city should have a contingency plan if some or all of the money is cut.
"By starting construction on vacant, prime farmland four miles from Kapolei, if funding runs short and construction is halted, the city will not be able to operate the rail line to generate any kind of meaningful ridership, if at all," Cayetano said in an email message. "A contingency plan for rail should have been developed for the same reason the state has a contingency plan for tsunamis and hurricanes."
Cayetano is running against incumbent Mayor Peter Carlisle and former city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell, both strong rail supporters. Carlisle and Caldwell have expressed full faith in Inouye's ability to secure all federal funds that have been promised.
The city last week submitted its application for $1.55 billion to the Federal Transit Administration.
"Unofficially, they're pleased that everything was in line, that it was properly done," Inouye said.
Inouye previously had said the only thing that could stop the rail funding was "World War III." He hedged that answer on Tuesday when asked whether there was a contingency plan for rail if the federal money falls short.
"There are a lot of things that could halt this," he said. "As I've said, there could be a war. Also, there could be this terrible thing that's confronting us called sequestration, and I hope to God it never happens."
Sequestration refers to the $1.2 trillion of automatic spending cuts over 10 years mandated by the federal Budget Control Act of 2011.
If the city has to alter the rail project due to lack of federal funds, Inouye said, "When we get to that stage, we can discuss it, but I think it's rather premature."
I would say this...if you built a rapid-rail from one Hawaii resort area....to another Hawaii resort area. It’d likely pay for itself with adequate tourists paying for the expensive tickets and doing the trip....unlike the LA to SF concept.
The only other area that might be able to make rapid rail pay for itself is a DC to Philly to New York City deal. After that....it’s a total failure anywhere else you build it.
Trains are expensive 19th century technology.
I say scrap the damned trains.
Build an automate computer driven system of individual cabs for half the price of the ones proposed for Hawaii.
Honolulu could be the first city in the nation to go Self Driven Cars.
We need innovated, exciting solutions when using such huge amounts of the public’s purse.
Freedom to travel when and where you want without waiting in line like cows.
No more traffic accidents or fatalities since the computers are human error free. No more drunks killing people. With multiple fail safes cars would operate with cloud computing, meaning that every car on the street would know what the other cars are doing. If one makes a mistake, the others could correct (sort of like what we do here on Freepers).
We could increase speed by one third since the programs would be able to safely compact the cars together and orchestrate movement.
No more traffic jams. Everyone would get to where they want to go much fast, spurring economic grow and reducing pollution.
Privacy filters could prevent misuse of personal information by masking travel location or destinations.
meant to say: Build an automatic computer driven system
Again, this is a Progressive rope-a-dope program. It has nothing to do with transportation. It is ALL about FEDERAL money - from the federal printing presses - for union jobs. Hawaii ranks #49 for business friendliness. Nobody in their right minds would start a business in Hawaii unless “deals” are made for Federal or State subsidies.
Exactly right Dapper!
They still think they can put it over on us.