From Honolulu Traffic
The real reason for the TheBus service cuts:
You can find the real reason for bus service reductions in the FTA’s rather grudging letter granting acceptance of the City/HART’s rail project into the Final Design process.
The Final Design process succeeds the Preliminary Engineering process and HART hopes that this process will culminate in the signing of a Full Funding Grant Agreement. The FFGA is the point where the FTA would commit to the amount of funding that HART could count on for constructing rail.
HART’s financial plan for the FFGA is not quite acceptable to the FTA as it stands as can be gleaned from this excerpt from the FTA’s letter of December 12 last.
“… HART made assumptions in three areas that require further justification or amendment: (1) the containment of bus and HandiVan operating expenses; (2) the increasing share of the City's annual budget required to fund the transit system; and (3) the diversion of Section 5307 funds from preventive maintenance to the Project. Prior to the Project's consideration for an FFGA, HART should either provide further documentation justifying the reasonableness of these assumptions or consider revising these assumptions to more closely follow historical patterns.”
This is the link to the full letter. See page 2 for the above excerpt.