Monday, February 7, 2011

Where is The Money for The Rail

Where is the Money? is one question everyone should be asking of the Carlisle Administration.

The other is: How dare you start construction with no guarantee of the federal monies?

Today Minneapolis/Saint Paul concluded their funding agreement with the FTA for Light Rail. See article below.

Notes relevant to Honolulu:
  • Twin Cities did not start before they got their money.
  • Their cost is under one billion. Ours is close to six billion for one third the population!
  • They got a 50% match like we got in 1990. Now our match is about 30%.
  • Over the last few days I contacted experts who said that rarely if ever a city starts construction before the Full Funding Grant Agreement is concluded.
  • Except for Honolulu. Mayor Harris and Transit Planner Hamayasu (also in charge of the rail project now) jumped the gun with the BRT. In a case of national embarrassment, the FTA withdrew Honolulu's Record on Decision. (History has a way of repeating itself...)

Hot off the press: Twin Cities’ light rail project clears money hurdle

Minneapolis — The Metropolitan Council and other local agencies finally have the news they have been seeking: The Federal Transit Administration has sent to Congress the grant agreement for the Central Corridor light rail project.

The move launches a 60-day review various officials described as a courtesy, meaning Congress is expected to approve the grant agreement in early April.

That will let the FTA and the Met Council sign the agreement contract that guarantees the federal government will pay for half of the $957 million light rail project. Officials in Washington, D.C., had delayed delivery of the grant agreement several times, but it was not clear why.

The Central Corridor, the biggest public works project in Minnesota history, will connect the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis via an 11-mile route when it opens in 2014.