HART is seeking further approval to continue building even more.
Major construction began Monday with a federal lawsuit that hopes to stop the project still undecided. Rail supporters are confident they will prevail in court.
"People can jump and scream and swear they're going to stop it, but they're going to have a real hard time doing it," said Carlisle.
On Monday, HART issued a letter to members of the Honolulu City Council with estimates on how much it would cost to delay the project, versus starting construction now.
The analysis shows it would cost $119 million if the federal lawsuit is successful and HART is forced to demolish what has already been built, as long as the decision is made no later than January 31, 2013.
In contrast, if construction is delayed until January 31, 2013, it would cost $313 million due to the escalating cost of raw materials and change orders due to construction delays.