Honolulu Rail Transit
|Honolulu Rail Transit Project|
Project construction in Waipahu
|Type||Medium-capacity rail rapid transit|
|Locale||Honolulu County, Hawaii|
Ala Moana Center
|Daily ridership||119,600 (2030 projection)|
|Character||almost entirely elevated|
|Rolling stock||Hitachi Rail Italy (Driverless Metro)|
|Line length||20 mi (32 km)|
|Number of tracks||2|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The Honolulu Rail Transit Project (also known as the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project) is an urban rail rapid transit system under construction in Honolulu County, Oahu, Hawaii. The mostly-elevated system features design elements from both heavy rail systems and light metros, with a commuter rail-like design incorporated into trains and suburban stations. It will become the first large-scale publicly run metro system in the United States to feature platform screen doors when it opens in late 2020.
The first of its kind in Hawaii, the system seeks to alleviate the substantial traffic issues affecting the state's most populous urban agglomeration, as well as provide a reliable transportation alternative for visitors and commuters in southern Oahu. For more than 40 years, debate over the development of a rail system in Honolulu was a major point of contention in local politics, especially leading into the 2008, 2012, and 2016 election cycles.
The first phase of the project, linking East Kapolei and Aloha Stadium, is scheduled to open in late 2020, while the second phase of the project continuing the line to Ala Moana Center in urban Honolulu is in some financial trouble. The available funding is only sufficient for construction out to Middle Street in Kalihi, but the Federal Transit Administration has made clear that its contribution is contingent to completion of the line all the way to Ala Moana Center and will not be increased.
Plans for a mass transit line to connect Honolulu's urban center with outlying areas began in the 1960s, but funding was not approved until 2005. The controversy over the rail line was the dominant issue for local politics leading into the 2008 Honolulu elections, and culminated in a city charter amendment which left the final decision to the citizens of Oahu. The amendment passed with 53% of voters in favor, and ground broke on project construction on February 22, 2011.
For more than 50 years, Honolulu politicians have attempted to construct a rail transit line. As early as 1966, then-mayor Neal S. Blaisdell suggested a rail line as a solution to alleviate traffic problems in Honolulu, stating, "Taken in the mass, the automobile is a noxious mechanism whose destiny in workaday urban use is to frustrate man and make dead certain that he approaches his daily occupation unhappy and inefficient." 
Frank Fasi was elected to office in 1968, and started planning studies for a rail project, named Honolulu Area Rapid Transit (HART), in 1977. After Fasi lost the 1980 reelection to Eileen Anderson, President Ronald Reagan cut off funding for all upcoming mass transit projects, which led Anderson to cancel HART in 1981. Fasi was reelected in 1984, and restarted the HART project two years later, but the second effort was stopped in a 1992 vote by the Honolulu City Council against the necessary tax increase.
Fasi resigned in 1994 to run for governor, with Jeremy Harris winning the special election to replace him. Harris unsuccessfully pursued a bus rapid transit project as an interim solution until he left office in 2004. His successor, Mufi Hannemann, began the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project (HHCTCP), the island's fourth attempt to build a mass transit system operating in a dedicated right-of-way.
General Excise Tax increase
Shortly after winning the 2004 election, Hannemann announced that construction of a rail line was an administration priority. The following May and upon prompting by the city, the Hawaii State Legislature passed a bill (Act 247) to allow counties a one-half percent increase in the Hawaii General Excise Tax (GET), from 4% to 4.5%, to fund transportation projects. According to the bill, increased revenue would be delivered to counties implementing the raised tax to fund general public transportation infrastructure throughout Hawaii, and to pay for mass transit in the case of the City and County of Honolulu. Money collected from the initial 4% GET would remain state revenue.
Republican governor Linda Lingle initially threatened to veto the bill, believing that money destined for county governments should be collected by the individual counties. After compromising with legislative leaders and Mayor Hannemann, however, she allowed the bill to become law. On July 12, 2005, the bill was enacted as Act 247 of the Session Laws of Hawaii 2005, without the Governor's signature. A month later, the Honolulu City Council authorized the one-half percent GET increase, and Hannemann signed the measure into law on August 24. Act 247 required Honolulu to use the funds only for the construction and operation of a mass transit system, and barred its use for public roads and other existing transit systems, such as TheBus. Since no other county authorized the excise tax increase before the deadline of December 31, 2005, the Hawaii GET remains at 4% for Hawaii's three other counties. The increase went into effect on January 1, 2007, and is due to expire on December 31, 2022.
The Legislature considered a bill in the 2009 legislative session that would have redirected income from the half-percent increase back to the state to offset a $1.8 billion projected shortfall in the following three fiscal years. The bill was opposed by Mayor Hannemann and other city leaders who believed that redirecting the money would jeopardize federal funding for the project, and was eventually dropped after U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye indicated to the Legislature that he shared the city's concerns.
The City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services released the first formal study related to the HHCTCP on November 1, 2006, the Alternatives Analysis Report. The report compared the cost and benefits of a "fixed guideway system", along with three alternatives. The first expanded the existing bus system to match population growth. A second option called for a further expansion to the bus system, with improvements to existing roads. The third alternative proposed a two-lane flyover above the H-1 freeway between Pearl City and Honolulu International Airport, continuing over Nimitz Highway, and into downtown Honolulu. The report recommended construction of the fixed guideway, and is considered the city's official justification for building a rail line.
A second planning document, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), studied possible natural and social impacts of the construction and operation of the HHCTCP. The DEIS was completed and cleared for public release by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on October 29, 2008. After minor changes were made to comply with state law, the document was distributed via the city's official project website four days later. The DEIS indicated that impacts of the rail project would include land acquisition from private owners on the route, displacement of residents and businesses, aesthetic concerns related to the elevated guideway, and noise from passing trains.
The city was criticized for timing the release only two days before the 2008 general election. City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi, running as a mayoral candidate against incumbent Hannemann, suggested that the city deliberately withheld key information to early voters who had already cast their ballots for the mayoral candidates, and a city charter amendment related to the project. The anti-rail advocacy group Stop Rail Now criticized the report for not further discussing bus rapid transit and toll lanes, options studied earlier by the city in its Alternatives Analysis.
The third and final official planning document, the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), was approved and cleared for public release by the FTA on June 14, 2010. The FEIS addresses and incorporates public comments received regarding the DEIS. The FTA subsequently declared the environmental review process complete in a record of decision issued on January 18, 2011.
Impact on Honolulu mayor elections
The importance of the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project in the 2008 mayoral election led one observer to describe the vote as a "referendum on rail transit". Two challengers emerged as rivals to incumbent Mufi Hannemann: City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi and University of Hawaii professor Panos D. Prevedouros. Kobayashi supported a "rubber-tired" mass transit system, as opposed to the conventional steel-wheel-on-steel-rail system chosen by the Hannemann administration. Prevedouros, on the other hand, opposed any mass transit project, favoring construction of a reversible tollway over the H-1, similar to the Managed Lane option studied in the Alternatives Analysis, and reworking existing road systems to ease congestion. No candidate won a majority of votes in the September 20 primary, forcing a runoff between Hannemann and Kobayashi; Hannemann successfully retained his post with 58% of the vote in the November 4 general election.
On April 22, 2008, the Stop Rail Now advocacy group announced their intent to file a petition with the city to place a question on the 2008 ballot to create an ordinance that read: "Honolulu mass transit shall not include trains or rail". Stop Rail Now attempted to submit the petition with 49,041 signatures to City Clerk Denise De Costa on August 5, but was initially denied after De Costa claimed the city charter did not allow the petition to be submitted less than 180 days before a general election, as the wording of the petition called for a special election. Stop Rail Now filed a lawsuit to force the city to accept the petition, and the courts ruled in Stop Rail Now's favor on August 14. Stop Rail Now's petition ultimately failed on September 4 when De Costa deemed only 35,056 of the signatures valid, well short of the 44,525 required.
In response to the possibility that Stop Rail Now's petition would fail, the City Council had however voted on August 21 to place a proposed amendment to the city charter on the ballot, asking voters to decide the fate of the project. Mayor Hannemann signed the proposal the following day. The City Council's proposed amendment was not intended to have a direct legal effect on the city's ability to continue the project, but was meant as a means for Oahu residents to express their opinions on its construction. The charter amendment was approved with 53% of votes cast in favor and 47% against. Majorities of voters in Leeward and Central Oahu, the areas that will be served by the project, voted in favor of the amendment, while the majority of those living outside the project's scope in Windward Oahu and East Honolulu voted against it.
In the 2016 Honolulu mayoral elections the main three candidates took opposing views on rail. Charles Djou, Peter Carlisle, and Kirk Caldwell all ran for mayor with the goal of finishing rail. However, Djou ran on drastically cutting spending on rail by cutting funding on buying cars on the rail before its done and hiring mainland consultants. Kirk Caldwell also stated that spending on rail should be cut, but instead by shortening the rail to end at Middle Street. Carlisle was the only candidate in full support of funding the rail system and stated that rail has gone too far to be stopped. Kirk Caldwell won the election.
Like most major infrastructure work in Hawaii, construction of the rail line is likely to uncover historic human remains, notably in its downtown Honolulu section. The Oahu Island Burial Council (part of the State Historic Preservation Division, within the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources) refused to sign a programmatic agreement on October 21, 2009, over concerns about likely burial sites located along the line's proposed route over Halekauwila Street in Kakaʻako. Three construction projects in the area since 2002 have each encountered unforeseen human remains that led to delays, and archaeologist Thomas Dye stated, "The council is absolutely right that you should expect to find burials on Halekauwila Street".
The Burial Council's core contention is the city's decision to conduct an archaeological survey of the rail line's route in phases, meaning construction on a majority of the line will be complete by the time the survey in the Kakaʻako area is performed, which in turn increases the likelihood that any remains discovered will be moved instead of being allowed to remain in situ. In response to the Burial Council's concerns, the city agreed to begin conducting an archaeological survey of the area in 2010, two years earlier than originally planned. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources later signed the city's programmatic agreement on January 15, 2011, over the continuing concerns of the Burial Council.
The city's decision to conduct the archaeological survey in phases subsequently led to a lawsuit filed on February 1, 2011, by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation on behalf of cultural practitioner Paulette Kaleikini. The suit, which named both the city and the State of Hawaii as defendants, contended that state law requires the full length of the rail line to have an archaeological survey conducted before any construction takes place, and seeks to void the environmental impact statement and all construction permits issued for the project. Kaleikini's lawyers filed on February 18 a request for an injunction to stop work on the project until the case is resolved. The suit was initially dismissed on March 23, 2011, after Circuit Court Judge Gary Chang ruled that state and federal laws allow the archaeological surveys to be conducted in phases. Kaleikini's lawyers subsequently appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in the case on May 24, 2012. The court ruled on August 24, 2012, that it agreed with plaintiff Kaleikini that the archaeological survey needed to be completed before construction could take place, and that the State Historic Preservation Division did not comply with state law when it approved the project. The case has now been remanded to Circuit Court. On December 27, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii granted the plaintiffs' injunction, and ordered that all construction-related activities in segment 4 of the archaeological survey be halted until compliance with the Hawaii Supreme Court decision made earlier this year is met. This ruling does not affect construction activities in the first three segments, nor does it affect construction planning, design, or engineering in segment 4, which is the final segment to be built. The Phase 4 area encompasses the downtown area and its immediate environs, including Chinatown, Mother Waldron Park, and Beretania Street. Judge Tashima, the only sitting judge on the case, ruled on condition of the injunction that the city is required to file periodic status updates on their compliance with the judgment. The injunction will then terminate 30 days after defendants file a notice of final compliance. City planners and rail representatives stated that archeological surveys will be completed early in 2013,[needs update] and that this ruling would have no effect on construction in City Center. Both sides are expected to appeal portions of the ruling that they do not agree with.
Construction on the HHCTCP rail line was originally scheduled to begin in December 2009, but did not occur on that date owing to lawsuits that tried to stop the projects and to delays in the project review process, including delays in obtaining federal approval of the environmental impact statement. These delays had the unfortunate consequence of pushing the timing of the project into a construction boom period in Hawaii, with potential contractors busy and therefore unwilling to bid aggressively to obtain contracts.
In January 2010, Governor Lingle publicly recommended that the city alter plans for the rail line after news reports on FTA documents where the federal agency raised issues over declining tax revenues in connection with a global economic recession, and commissioned a study by the state to review the project's finances in March. The state financial study, publicly released on December 2, 2010, indicated that the project would likely experience a $1.7 billion overrun above the $5.3 billion projected cost, and that collections from the General Excise Tax would be 30% below forecasts. Then Mayor Peter Carlisle dismissed the study as "damaged goods," and "a pre-determined anti-rail rant." He also pointed to several conclusions as "erroneous" and "inaccurate" before concluding that "spending a third of a million dollars for this shoddy, biased analysis is an appalling waste of our tax dollars."  Lingle's successor, Neil Abercrombie, publicly stated that the financial analysis would not affect his decision to approve or disapprove of the project, saying that the state's responsibility is limited to the environmental review process, and that decisions regarding the project's finances belong to the city and the FTA. Governor Abercrombie subsequently approved the project's final environmental impact statement on December 16, 2010. The Honolulu City Council held a hearing on January 12, 2011 about the state's financial review, but the hearing was not attended by any state officials, who had been invited to testify.
On January 18, 2011, the FTA issued a "record of decision", indicating that the HHCTCP has met the requirements of its environmental review and that the city is allowed to begin construction work on the project. The record of decision allowed the city to begin negotiating with owners of land that will be purchased for the project, to begin relocating utility lines to make way for construction of the line and stations, and to purchase rolling stock for the rail line. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on February 22, 2011 in Kapolei, at the site of the future East Kapolei station along Kualakai Parkway.
Federal Transit Administration's requests
On June 8, 2016, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported that HART officials had presented option to the HART board on how to comply with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requests. The FTA had quested that HART develop a "recovery plan" by August 7, 2016. One of the options under consideration was to scale back the system so that much of it would run at grade, in a dedicated right of way.
. The project, as planned, will construct an elevated rapid transit line from the eastern edge of Kapolei, near the University of Hawaii-West Oahu campus, to Ala Moana Center (East of Honolulu downtown). The line will pass through communities along southern Oahu, via Honolulu International Airport and downtown Honolulu. The long term plan includes unfunded extensions west through Kapolei to Kalaeloa and a link through Salt Lake, as well as east to the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus and Waikiki. The line will use 128 ft (39 m) trains carrying about 390 passengers each, similar in weight to light rail systems elsewhere in the United States (such as the MAX in Portland, Oregon), as opposed to heavier, and thus more expensive, lines found on rapid transit systems like the subways and elevated systems of Chicago and New York City. However, the stations will be standalone structures and will be substantially bigger than typical light rail stations. Physically, the Honolulu system will have a good deal in common with light rapid transit systems such as SkyTrain in Vancouver, British Columbia or the Copenhagen Metro, as well as the Docklands Light Railway in London. The system will be the first metro system in the United States to feature platform gates.
The rail line will have twenty-one stations and run from Kapolei to Honolulu, passing through Waipahu, Pearl City, Waimalu, Aiea, and Halawa. From the eastern terminus at Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu, the line is proposed to split into two future extensions to the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus and Waikiki. Originally, the line was to fork near Aloha Stadium into two routes, one passing Honolulu International Airport, and the other through Salt Lake, before reuniting at Middle Street in Kalihi. The city council initially decided to build the Salt Lake route before the airport route, as a result of horse-trading with City Councilmember Romy Cachola, whose constituents include Salt Lake residents and whose vote was needed to pass the decision. After the city charter amendment on rail transit passed, the City Council reconsidered the decision, and decided to re-route the rail line to pass by Pearl Harbor and the airport, without a Salt Lake alignment. The airport route is 4% more expensive, but is expected to have significantly higher ridership. The line will be served by 128 ft (39 m) long trains, each with a capacity of 390 passengers. The trains will operate with up to twenty departures per hour.
- Late 2020: East Kapolei – Aloha Stadium
- Late 2025: Aloha Stadium – Ala Moana Center
The construction of the rail line started from suburban areas in Kapolei and Ewa, and progresses towards the urban center in Honolulu. There will be 112 columns from East Kapolei to Ewa. The choice to start from Kapolei was made because the first phase must include a baseyard for trains, which is more cheaply built away from the center, and because the city chose to delay to later phases of the project the major infrastructure impacts and the unpopular traffic delays that will be associated with construction in the urban center. Future extensions would eventually service the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Waikiki, and Kalaeloa.
On October 21, 2009, the city announced Kiewit Pacific Co. had won the $483 million contract to build the first two stages of the line, bidding $90 million under the expected price. The stations will be tendered separately.
Rolling stock for the line will initially include 80 cars in 40 two-car consists, built by a joint venture between AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS named Ansaldo Honolulu. (AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS previously collaborated on the construction and operation of vehicles for the Copenhagen Metro and the Brescia Metro). Each car will be 64 ft (20 m) long, weigh 72,000 lb (33,000 kg), and have 36 seats with a listed total capacity of 195 people. The cars will be powered by a third-rail electrification system. The two competing bidders for the rail car contract, Bombardier Transportation and Sumitomo Corporation of America, filed protests over the award. Both protests were rejected during the administrative process, but Bombardier sought judicial review of their bid protest. The administrative decision against Bombardier's protest was affirmed by both the state Circuit Court and the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
Timeline of progress
- On May 16, 2012, construction workers started pouring concrete on the foundations that will hold the rail columns.
- On June 10, 2012, HART unveiled its first rail column in East Kapolei.
- On December 19, 2012, the Honolulu Rail Transit Project received $1.5 billion in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- On July 16, 2014, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, along with the CEO and executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Dan Grabauskas, presented a design of a $23 million rail station that will be constructed at the Honolulu International Airport.
- On August 14, 2014, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) unsealed bids for the first nine rail transit stations. The bids ranged from $294.5 to $320.8 million, well above HART's budget of $184 million for these stations.
- The first trips on the railway will be delayed, probably until 2018 as HART canceled the initial bids for the first nine stations on September 9, 2014. HART intends to rebid the work as three packages of three stations each, and allow more time for construction in the hope that increased competition on smaller contracts will drive down costs.
- On May 13, 2016, HART chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa shared a confidential document detailing budget estimates as of March 1, 2016, revealing that the rail project is now expected to cost $6.9 billion.
- In a statement released on May 16, 2016, the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) revealed that they estimate it will cost between $900 million and $1.2 billion more than HART's recently announced $6.9 billion budget to complete rail, driving the total cost to as much as $8.1 billion for the 20 mi (32 km) line. In addition, the FTA estimated completion of the rail system would be delayed nearly five years until December 2024, versus HART's federal funding agreement stating that full line service from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center would start in January, 2020.
- Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit, "System Figures", honolulutransit.org, retrieved July 22, 2014
- Mangieri, Gina (19 May 2016). "Could light rail help train reach Ala Moana and beyond?". KHON2. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
- Honolulu Rail Project - Ansaldo STS
- Boeing, G. (2016). "Honolulu Rail Transit: International Lessons in Linking Form, Design, and Transportation". Planext. 2: 28–47. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- CRAIG T. KOJIMA (2016). "Feds to city: No more money for rail, no stopping at Middle Street". Honolulu Star Advertiser. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
- "Blaisdell hails Oahu mass transit project", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, pp. A12, May 24, 1966
- Reyes, B.J. (August 11, 2005), "Council gives transit go-ahead 13 years after initial rejection", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 16, 2008
- Carlson, Ragnar (September 3, 2008), "Hail to the chief", Honolulu Weekly, archived from the original on September 28, 2011, retrieved October 16, 2008
- Au, Laurie (October 19, 2008), "Voters can derail $4B project", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, archived from the original on June 1, 2010, retrieved March 8, 2011
- Au, Laurie (November 10, 2008), "Voters on route drive rail victory", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved July 7, 2010
- Park, Gene (February 12, 2011), "Rail ready to break ground", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved February 12, 2011
- Park, Gene (February 23, 2011), "It's a go!", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 130 (23), p. A1, retrieved February 23, 2011
- "Fasi To Start Rail Transit Study", Honolulu Star-Bulletin & Advertiser, pp. A1, February 16, 1969 (Note: At this time, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser published Sunday editions jointly under the name Honolulu Star-Bulletin & Advertiser.)
- Tune, Jerry (July 7, 1977), "A Transit Line with a HART", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, pp. A12
- Matsunaga, Mark (February 19, 1981), "Reagan stops HART in its tracks", Honolulu Advertiser, pp. A1
- Matsunaga, Mark (May 5, 1981), "Mayor to abandon HART, beef up buses", Honolulu Advertiser, pp. A1
- Glauberman, Stu (May 5, 1981), "Mayor Calls HART Study to Abrupt Halt", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, pp. A1
- Matsunaga, Mark (August 14, 1986), "Transit system plan revived", Honolulu Advertiser, pp. A3
- Mariani, Jeanne (September 23, 1992), "Rail line dead - for now", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, pp. A1
- Dicus, Howard (January 30, 2004), "Harris: 'Honolulu must build fixed rail'", Pacific Business News, retrieved October 16, 2008
- Kua, Crystal (January 1, 2005), "Director prioritizes rail transit", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 16, 2008
- Kua, Crystal (May 5, 2005), "City measure touts rail tax", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 16, 2008
- State of Hawaii Department of Taxation (July 29, 2005), State of Hawaii Department of Taxation Announcement 2005-11, archived from the original (PDF) on December 11, 2009, retrieved June 21, 2009
- Kua, Crystal (July 12, 2005), "Late deal avoids transit veto", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 16, 2008
- Zimmerman, Malia (July 12, 2005), "Surrounded By Democrats at the Capitol, Hawaii's Republican Governor Rescinds Decision to Veto Tax Increase Measure", Hawaii Reporter, archived from the original on August 9, 2007, retrieved October 16, 2008
- DePledge, Derrick; Dingeman, Robbie (July 12, 2005), "Deal puts transit tax back on track", Honolulu Advertiser, pp. A1, retrieved July 7, 2010
- Kua, Crystal (August 11, 2005), "Transit project to raise taxes", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 16, 2008
- Kua, Crystal (August 24, 2005), "Mayor signs tax, calls for multi-faceted traffic solutions", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 16, 2008
- Daranciang, Nelson (December 31, 2006), "Excise tax increase begins tomorrow", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved February 2, 2011
- Wu, Nina (January 22, 2009), "Legislature battles to avert $1.8B deficit", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved July 7, 2010
- DePledge, Derrick; Boylan, Peter (June 21, 2009), "Governor emphasizes Hawaii's deficit woes as Legislature opens", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved June 21, 2009
- Hawaii State Legislature, 2009 Regular Session, Senate Bill 1626 Status, retrieved June 21, 2009
- Hawaii State Legislature, Senate Bill 1626 Senate Draft 1, Relating to Taxation, retrieved June 21, 2009
- Nakaso, Dan (January 24, 2009), "Stimulus could revive Honolulu, mayor says", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved June 21, 2009
- DePledge, Derrick (March 11, 2009), "Legislature keeping its tax-raising options open", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved June 21, 2009
- Borreca, Richard (March 11, 2009), "Lawmakers fear revenue slump", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved July 7, 2010
- Kua, Crystal (November 3, 2006), "Council panel backs rail as mass-transit solution", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 15, 2008
- City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services (November 1, 2006), Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis Report Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 to 7, retrieved February 25, 2009
- U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration; City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services, Draft Environmental Impact Statement Executive Summary (PDF), retrieved February 25, 2009
- Au, Laurie (October 31, 2008), "City releases portion of rail report", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved July 7, 2010
- Shikina, Robert (November 3, 2008), "Kobayashi rails against city for timing of report", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved November 6, 2008
- Hao, Sean; Roig, Suzanne (November 3, 2008), "Hawaii rail transit cost now at least $4.34B", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved March 5, 2011
- U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration; City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services (2008-11), Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation Cover to Contents, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4 (Part 1), Chapter 4 (Part 2), Chapter 5, Chapters 6-8, References to Index, Appendix A (Conceptual Alignment Plans and Profiles), Appendix B (Conceptual Right-of-Way Plans, Appendix C (Construction Approach), Appendix D (Record of Agency Correspondence and Coordination), Appendix E (Record of Public and Stakeholder Correspondence and Coordination), retrieved on January 5, 2009
- Hao, Sean (June 15, 2010), "Final study for rail line gets feds' OK", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved February 1, 2010
- Park, Gene (January 19, 2011), "Rail gets OK to break ground", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved January 20, 2011
- Au, Laurie (September 10, 2008), "Mayoral debate turns raucous", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 16, 2008
- Borreca, Richard; Au, Laurie (September 21, 2008), "Hannemann and Kobayashi reset sights for Nov. 4", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 20, 2008
- Au, Laurie (November 5, 2008), "Hannemann win re-election with 58%", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved November 5, 2008
- Au, Laurie (April 22, 2008), "Rail critics utilize power of pen", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved October 20, 2008
- Au, Laurie (August 5, 2008), "Lawsuit looms over validity of anti-rail petition", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved November 6, 2008
- Section 3-404 (PDF), Revised Charter of Honolulu, retrieved on February 25, 2009
- Au, Laurie (August 20, 2008), "City clerk rushing to certify anti-rail effort", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved November 6, 2008
- Au, Laurie (September 4, 2008), "Anti-rail group's effort denied by courts, clerk", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved November 6, 2008
- Au, Laurie (August 21, 2008), "Council OKs ballot question on transit", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved November 12, 2008
- Au, Laurie (August 22, 2008), "Mayor vows to put transit on ballot", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved November 12, 2008
- Charles Djou, "Rail" (http://djou.com/issues/rail/)
- Mendoza, Jim; Lincoln, Mileka; Davis, Chelsea (June 16, 2016). "Mayor wants to shorten rail route, ending at Middle Street". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
- Grace Lee, "Mayoral candidate Peter Carlisle says rail project cannot be stopped" (http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/31997123/mayoral-candidate-peter-carl-isle-says-rail-project-cannot-be-stopped)
- Hao, Sean (October 20, 2009), "Burial council won't sign rail pact", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved July 7, 2010
- Conrow, Joan (May 26, 2010), "grave matters", Honolulu Weekly, archived from the original on November 19, 2011, retrieved January 30, 2011
- Park, Gene (January 16, 2011), "City plan accounts for problematic burial sites", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved January 30, 2011
- Daranciang, Nelson (February 1, 2011), "Lawsuit claims rail endangers burial sites", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 129 (364), p. B1, retrieved February 1, 2011
- Daranciang, Nelson (March 24, 2011), "Judge Rejects Suit Challenging Rail Survey", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved March 24, 2011
- Hervey, Tiffany (June 27, 2012), "Buried Truth", Honolulu Weekly, archived from the original on October 25, 2012, retrieved July 19, 2012
- Grube, Nick (August 24, 2012), "Rail Derailed? Hawaii Supreme Court Rules Against Honolulu", Honolulu Civil Beat, Peer News LLC, retrieved August 24, 2012
- Schwind, Paul. "Honolulu Rail Remedy - Phasers On Minimal". Web. Hawaii Reporter. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Hao, Sean (January 3, 2010), "Honolulu rail behind schedule, with construction start unclear", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved February 1, 2011
- Hao, Sean; Pang, Gordon Y.K. (January 9, 2010), "Honolulu's rail costs put state at financial risk, governor says", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved February 1, 2011
- Hao, Sean (August 26, 2010), "Time short for Lingle's call on rail", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved February 1, 2011
- DePledge, Derrick (November 5, 2010), "Abercrombie to weigh rail EIS", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved February 1, 2011
- Park, Gene (December 17, 2010), "Governor signs off on review of rail", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved February 1, 2011
- Park, Gene (January 13, 2011), "State skips hearing on rail finance studies", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved February 1, 2011
- Park, Gene (February 20, 2011), "If they build it, will developers come?", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, retrieved February 20, 2011
- LaFrance, Adrienne (February 21, 2011), "Rail Groundbreaking: Phony or For Real?", Honolulu Civil Beat, Peer News LLC, retrieved February 22, 2011
- Ray Tsuchiyama (2016-06-29). "A Rail System Option That Offers The Best Fit For Honolulu". Honolulu Civil Beat.
- The Rail will operate from 4am to midnight, 3.
- City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services, Rail Transit Map (Part 1: Kapolei-Ewa), (Part 2: Waipahu-Aiea), (Part 3: Stadium-Kalihi), (Part 4: Kalihi-UH-Manoa/Waikiki), retrieved January 5, 2009
- Park, Gene (March 22, 2011), "Have a seat", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 130 (50), p. A1, A6, retrieved March 22, 2011
- Station Design and Features
- Consillio, Kristen (November 17, 2008), "Rail route changes trigger harsh words", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved July 7, 2010
- Kua, Crystal (February 22, 2007), "Rail Route to Go Via Salt Lake", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved January 18, 2008
- Au, Laurie (January 29, 2008), "New rail route OK'd", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved July 7, 2010
- Hao, Sean (January 29, 2009), "Council changes transit route to serve airport", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved January 29, 2002
- City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services, "Q&A: Honolulu Rail Transit" brochure (PDF), retrieved January 5, 2009
- Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit. "Rail Facts". Retrieved November 26, 2016. See question "When will the train start operating?"
- Tim Sakahara, "Concrete poured on Honolulu rail project," Hawaii News Now, May 16, 2014, retrieved on October 29, 2014.
- Hao, Sean (February 25, 2008). "First phase of rail would end in Pearl City". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
- "First contract awarded for Honolulu light rail". Railway Gazette International. October 26, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2009.
- Hao, Sean (October 22, 2009), "1st Honolulu Rail Contract Goes to Kiewit Pacific at $483M", Honolulu Advertiser, retrieved July 7, 2010
- Brown, Robert (April 15, 2011), "FACT CHECK — Carlisle: Ansaldo's Copenhagen Line One of World's Best", Honolulu Civil Beat, Peer News LLC, retrieved April 16, 2011
- U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration; City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services (June 2010), Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project Final Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation (PDF), pp. 2–30, retrieved March 28, 2011
- Park, Gene (April 12, 2011), "2 bidders protest city's rail decision", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 130 (71), retrieved April 12, 2011
- Kalani, Nanea (October 14, 2011). "Disqualified Honolulu Rail Bidder Bombardier Files New Appeal". Honolulu Civil Beat. Peer News. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Abramson, Mark (October 17, 2012). "Hawaii Appeals Court upholds ruling in Bombardier rail lawsuit". Pacific Business News. American City Business Journals. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) USA Inc. v. Director, Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, City and County of Honolulu, 128 Haw. 413 (App.), 289 P.3d 1049 (Haw. App. 2012)
- Tim Sakahara, "Concrete poured on Honolulu rail project," Hawaii News Now, May 16, 2012, retrieved on October 29, 2014.
- Star Advetiser Staff, "HART unveils first rail column in East Kapolei," Star Advertiser, June 10, 2012, retrieved on October 29, 2014.
- John Yaukey, "Feds sign $1.55B commitment for Honolulu rail project," Star Advertiser, December 19, 2012, retrieved on October 29, 2014.
- Bill Cresenzo, "Honolulu rail agency unveils design for $23M Honolulu airport rail station," Pacific Business News, July 16, 2014, retrieved on November 15, 2014.
- Honolulu Transit E-Blast (August 18, 2014).
- "HART cancels bids for first 9 rail stations". KITV. September 10, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
- "Honolulu Rail Price Estimate Jumps To $6.9B". Civil Beat News.