HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today transmitted the final report of an independent financial analysis of the proposed Honolulu Rail Transit Project to Mayor Peter Carlisle, Council Chair Nestor Garcia and Governor-elect Neil Abercrombie. A copy was also sent to the Federal Transit Administration and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. The report is meant to provide an objective assessment of the overall financial impact of the rail project to Hawai‘i taxpayers in the future.
Se it here: www.hawaii.gov/dot/railtransit
The State Department of Transportation contracted with Infrastructure Management Group (IMG), Inc. to conduct an economic analysis, financial assessment and evaluation of the rail project in September 2010 as part of the State’s obligation to perform due diligence to determine if the multi-billion dollar project can be sustained and maintained over the long-term. While the project would receive some federal funding, Hawai‘i taxpayers would pay for most of the cost to build, operate and maintain the rail system.
“I appreciate the thorough financial review of the City’s rail project that IMG performed over the past three months,” said Governor Lingle. “Although the Office of Environmental Quality Control has not completed its legally required review of the Environmental Impact Statement and therefore has not sent me the final version for my approval and acceptance, I am transmitting the independent financial report to Mayor Carlisle, Council Chair Garcia, Governor-elect Abercrombie as well as Secretary LaHood and the Federal Transit Administration for their review, consideration and application as they deem appropriate. I am confident these officials will appreciate the need to fairly assess the economic impact of this proposed rail project on Hawai‘i taxpayers today and for generations to come.”
The scope of the financial review included an analysis and evaluation of the local share of costs to build, operate and maintain the project, as well as an assessment of the adequacy of the General Excise Tax (GET) surcharge revenues and prospective federal funds. IMG analyzed the reasonableness and accuracy of the City’s plans and revenue forecasts to fund the single largest and costliest public works project that has ever been undertaken in Hawai‘i.
IMG was assisted by the Land Use and Economic Consulting Group of CB Richard Ellis and Tomas A. Rubin, an independent transit finance and accounting expert.
The cost of the independent financial review was about $350,000, which was funded through the State Highways Fund.
Submitted by Mike Formby, Interim Director, Dept. of Transportation