HONOLULU (KITV4) -- City and state analysis of the Honolulu rail system is finally complete. Honolulu's city auditor just released the second report on Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's (HART) spending. The report closes the gaps in the state's audit from 2019 and the city auditor's report from 2016.
Tracks intertwine across Honolulu's skyline and pillars wait for completion. The HART rail system is going through changes as it grows. So apparently is the department's office as well.
The city auditor has released follow up on recommendations from city and county audits. Nine objectives are listed, six city and three state. Big changes to staffing are part of the report.
This recent follow-up shows $246 million in savings due to staffing changes which included reducing HART staff from 115 to only 52 in a two-year period, using employees instead of consultants, cutting the number of consultants from 19 to six, and transforming some of those cut into full time workers. In addition, three of the top four jobs at HART are now city employees.
Honolulu residents have their own views on these cuts.
"If it can save money, that's good. But how about those employees they got rid of? They also have lives and families to support," said resident James Cabrera.
Another big savings listed in this final report is called is the Mauka shift. That means instead of building the guideway on ocean side of Dillingham Boulevard, they would build on the mountain side of the road. The final savings is $165 million.
The money is saved by not having to move utilities, which created more efficient construction, reduction in the project schedule, less of a need for contingency funds, and fewer studies and consultants being needed.
"It's still going to affect somebody somehow, right. That's what we need to find out," said Haps Flow Tattoo Studio spokesperson Ruel Castro.
"The project is getting ridiculous, according to my friends and families. It's costing millions and millions of dollars in the taxpayers money," said Cabrera.
Additional recommendations in the report involve creating a better management system, changes in procedure, document tracking, and analyzing the effective use of office space considered fine as is. An internal audit system has also been established.