Another rail boondoggle
From Honolulu's Civil Beat:
Federal Transit Administration officials have given the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the City and County of Honolulu until the end of the year to put forth a new proposal to finish the Honolulu rail project as currently planned or complete a shortened route.
It’s not what the feds wanted. The FTA initially laid down an Aug. 7 deadline, but Mayor Kirk Caldwell asked for a reprieve for the financially embattled project until next summer, to allow the Legislature to consider rail’s options in its 2017 session.
The FTA was in no mood to be generous, as its terse July 21 letter to Caldwell underscored. Neither, we suspect, are Honolulu voters, who even in good times, have only supported the project by the smallest of margins.
With the project now $1.5 billion over budget, red ink continuing to flow and elections just around the corner, voters and community organizations should put city leaders — and by extension, the semi-autonomous transit authority — on an even shorter leash...
Critics of this project tried in vain to warn Hawaii that it was making a mistake with this project. See also this and this.
But once underway these projects are hard to stop, and good money must be thrown after bad.