Mayor appoints Colleen Hanabusa to rail project board

A former congresswoman is joining the board that oversees the city’s multi-billion dollar rail transit project.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell appointed Colleen Hanabusa as the new board member for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

“I am confident that Congresswoman Hanabusa, with her decades of service as an attorney, as Hawaii Senate President, and in Congress, will closely monitor HART’s spending and safeguard taxpayer money,” the mayor said. “Being from Waianae, she knows how badly west side residents need this alternative to sitting in some of the worst traffic in the entire nation every day.

“She worked alongside Senator Dan Inouye to secure the federal funding and now I thank her seeing the project through construction.”

Hanabusa is replacing the board’s former chairwoman Carrie Okinaga, who will serve as the University of Hawaii Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel.

“I really do look forward for the opportunity of literally rolling up my sleeves and delving into everything,” she said, “and hopefully having answers for all of you when you raise questions as well. It’s going to be a challenge.”

Hanabusa’s appointment to the 10-member board is an unpaid position.

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