City council approves $350 million in bonds for rail

Honolulu’s troubled rail project was thrown a lifeline Wednesday.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation got approval from the Honolulu City Council to access $350 million in city bonds to pay for the next year of operations.

The council voted 6 to 3.

Some are worried about the effect this will have on funding other city projects.

“I’m hopeful today based on the assertions from Mr. (Krishniah) Murthy (interim HART executive director) and HART that anything that we do approve today, if it is approved, will only be used up until Middle Street,” said Councilman Trevor Ozawa.

“How many more projects in my district are going to suffer as a result of us lending out $350 million in bonds?” asked Councilman Ernie Martin.

Murthy says the project can survive until next summer with the cash flow from the bonds.

The federal government has frozen nearly $800 million of its remaining grant money pending its review of HART’s financial plan.

The city still needs support from state lawmakers to get the money to build it past Middle Street.

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