Business/In Brief • Sept. 13, 2014

Rail completion likely delayed

HONOLULU – The federal government has lost confidence that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation will finish construction of its commuter rail on time.

A new government report says there’s a 50 percent chance that the project will be done by the end of 2019.

The prediction is based on worst case scenarios coming true, said HART CEO Dan Grabauskas.

“Our job is to look at all the things that can go wrong and look at them with realistic eyes and try to avoid those things,” he told Hawaii News Now.

The line was originally scheduled to be completed in March 2019, but rail officials earlier this week announced that the 2017 opening date for the first 10 miles would likely be delayed by a year.

Property acquisition plans also are behind schedule, but rail car construction is expected to be completed on time.

Officials have hired a manager from Vancouver to develop a fare collection system using smart cards.

Some local officials are less optimistic than Grabauskas.

“Repeatedly, we hear ‘on budget on time,’ and the more I hear that, the more worried I get,” said Honolulu Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi. “Why do they have to say this over and over? It’s already not going to be on time.”