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State Auditor Releases First Report on HART

Catherine Cruz

The Office of the State Auditor released its first report on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation today. In the report, the auditor says the information HART disclosed to the public often contradicted its own internal projections, and obscured the extent of the project's financial problems.

The Office of the State Auditor reviewed City and Federal Transit Administration communications and other documents dating back to 2008. Those documents showed that the City awarded the first contract with no real basis to believe the guideway's construction schedule was practical or predictable.

"Bold, overly optimistic projections, it's been the story of the rail project from the beginning," said State Auditor Les Kondo. "However, high hopes and poor planning eventually ran headlong into cold, hard reality. Originally projected to open for business on March 2019 at a cost of $5.122 billion, the Honolulu Rail Transit Project is now expected to start service in September 2026, with a total price tag of $9.188 billion."

You can read State Auditor Les Kondo's summary of the report below. You can find the full report here. A full HPR report on the HART audit will be available later today.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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