The new CEO and executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation met with the head of the Federal Transit Administration and with Hawaii's congressional delegations in Washington Tuesday.
HART CEO Daniel Grabauskas went to the nation's capitol to discuss the status of Honoulu's rail project in preparation for receiving additional federal funds.
Grabauskas officially begins his new role on April 9. He and interim HART Executive Director Toru Hamayasu met with FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, U.S. Sens. Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel Akaka, and U.S. Reps. Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa to discuss the expected full-funding grant agreement, which provides $1.55 billion in federal money for the project.
Grabauskas said the meeting with the FTA went well and that Rogoff reiterated comments made two weeks ago by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood underscoring that the agency is committed to the project and committed to the funding.
Grabauskas, who is preparing to move from Boston to Honolulu, said he decided to visit with federal officials while still on the East Coast because it was more cost effective and would allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Honolulu.
As the new chief executive of HART, Grabauskas will run the agency responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the $5.2 billion rail project. The HART board selected him as the new CEO and executive director on March 1.
The 20-mile rail transit system from East Kapolei to Ala Moana is expected to open in 2019.