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Summer 2022 is the earliest the rail could begin partial operations, HART CEO says

HART honolulu rail track construction.jpeg
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit
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A segment of the Honolulu rail in October 2021.

The head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation says next summer is the earliest the rail system could begin partial operations.

Lori Kahikina told HPR's The Conversation the interim service would initially run from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium.

But the July start depends on a number of pieces falling into place, such as fixing wheel rims that are too small for the track. That would require temporary welding.

In addition, Kahikina says extensive testing and trial runs by the manufacturer, Hitachi, and HART need to happen.

"So assuming all the stars line up, we get the welding done, Hitachi gets the pre-testing done, the 90 days of trial running is okay, the soonest we could get it over to the city is probably June, July of next year. Then mayor and DTS need to decide whether they are actually going to open up for revenue service," Kahikina said.

Kahikina says there have been issues with people breaking into stations and homeless people squatting there. In response, Hitachi has boosted security to monitor the facilities.

Kahikina confirmed the HART board is preparing a two-year contract for her to become the permanent head of the agency in January.

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