Hawaii– The board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is nearing a decision on whether to pursue a public-private partnership (P3) to complete and then maintain the city’s 20-mile rail line. Faced with financial and construction setbacks, the city is now debating whether or not to bring in a private firm to mitigate the projected financial overrun of completion and maintenance/operations of the rail line.
In 2012 the city promised completion of the rail line for $5.63 billion by 2019, yet costs have now ballooned to nearly $9 billion and the date of completion has been pushed to 2025. The project has faced delays that have resulted in $745 million dollars of Federal funding being withheld until a feasible plan to resolve the current state of the project is implemented. Further complicating the project is an ongoing $1.4 billion P3 contract for operations and maintenance that the city awarded to a metropolitan train company that could extend until 2021. With every year of delays adding $100 million to the cost of the rail line, a P3 to finish the remaining 8 miles of track is becoming a more feasible solution.