Study explores benefits of public-private partnerships to Honolulu’s rail project

Could public-private partnerships help bridge rail’s $2 billion funding gap?

A study says while public-private partnerships can’t entirely fix the shortfall, they can certainly help.

The study says rail can be built faster with fewer costly delays and yield a more predictable budget if private capital is brought into the mix and the cost-overrun risk is shifted to the partner.

“Due to the at-risk private capital, public-private partnerships often result in lower costs, less risk, and faster delivery; but it’s important to note they do not offer free money, so there still has to be a dedicated funding source available for the project,” said Murray Clay, managing partner at Ulupono Initiative.

The city has until April 30 to turn in a recovery plan to the federal government.

City officials are asking state lawmakers to extend the general excise tax surcharge permanently to help cover the shortfall.

The study was conducted by Jones Lang LaSalle, and backed by Ulupono Initiative and the Oahu Economic Development Board.

View the full report here.

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