Honolulu Rail Cost Overruns Now Exceed $1 Billion

Add another $200 million to the $910 million shortfall already facing Honolulu's rail project. The changing circumstances surrounding the project won't make it any easier to create a viable funding plan to make up the difference.

1 minute read

September 16, 2015, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Honolulu Rail Transit

Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation / Honolulu Rail Transit

"Honolulu’s rail transit project could now cost $200 million more to build — bringing its projected shortfall to more than $1 billion — and take about a year longer to complete," according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The news comes via a letter sent by Don Horner, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's new board chairman, and HART Executive Director Dan Grabauskas. The letter also shared the bad news of the projects delay—pushed back to 2021 instead of the first quarter of 2020. The article also lists other changes and challenges described by the letter.

The letter arrives, according to the article, "as the City Council considers its final vote on a five-year rail tax extension to help the project climb out of its current budget hole." The 800-pound gorilla in the room: "The letter makes clear that the Council still lacks a lot of the latest facts on the project, ahead of that vote later this year." 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 in Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Black and white Rideshare Pick-Up Zone sign

The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

June 1, 2023 - Human Transit

Urban sidewalk shaded by large mature trees

Cool Walkability Planning

Shadeways (covered sidewalks) and pedways (enclosed, climate controlled walkways) can provide comfortable walkability in hot climates. The Cool Walkshed Index can help plan these facilities.

June 1, 2023 - Todd Litman

Interstate 55 with cars and green freeway signs in Chicago, Illinois

Illinois Legislators Pass Controversial I-55 Road Expansion Legislation

Legislation to enable the addition of express toll lanes on Interstate 55 in the Southwest Side of Chicago, opposed by environmental justice advocates, cleared the Illinois General Assembly last month.

June 7, 2023 - Chicago Tribune

Dallas Freeways

Federal Infrastructure Dollars Funding Road Expansions

Far from kickstarting a transformative change in transportation policy, the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law continues to fund traditional road-building projects.

June 9 - Climatewire

An aerial view of a park and the streets and high-rises of Downtown Omaha.

Downtown Omaha Planning for its Post-One-Way-Streets Era

The Omaha City Council has decided to reverse the transportation model adopted in the city in the 1950s, for the benefit of traffic safety and local retail activity.

June 9 - KETV

A red sun appears on the horizon, as obscured by haze from wildfire smoke.

Planning for Proximity, for the Climate’s Sake

A new global platform will help the world identify and encourage opportunities for more proximity in the built environment—development patterns that can help reduce sources of greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution if built well.

June 9 - C40 Cities

Assistant/Associate Planner

Bossier City - Parish MPC

Principal Planner – Advanced Plans

Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department

Planning Officer

City of Bangor

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.