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Sunday, November 20, 2011
Ansaldo Debacle: HART, Council, Ariyoshi all Looking at Rail Re-bid
By Selected News Articles @ 3:19 PM :: 8004 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

From Honolulu Traffic, Nov 17, 2011

HART schedules a new review of the Ansaldo deal November 25, the Pacific Business News story today tells us:

"The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation will conduct additional due diligence on contractor Ansaldo Honolulu JV before signing a contract for the $1.4 billion contract to design, build and operate Honolulu’s proposed rail transit system because of concerns about its parent company’s finances.

"HART has scheduled a joint finance and project oversight meeting for Nov. 25 — the deadline for the city to sign the Ansaldo contract — to discuss Ansaldo’s “financial capacity to meet all of its obligations under the contract,” HART said in a statement.

"Although the deadline is Nov. 25, HART could extend the deadline, spokesman Scott Ishikawa said."

Councilmember Tom Berg's reso for a new EIS held by Harimoto:

Tom Berg has proposed a reso #11-258, "Urging the Mayor and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to prepare a new Environmental Impact Statement for the City's Transit Project." Council Transportation Chair Breene Harimoto refuses to hear the reso.

We wholeheartedly agree; this is essentially what our federal lawsuit argues for. The City needs to study the alternative routes and technology in a scientific and unbiased way. Only then will see a transportation alternative that will satisfy the electorate. Readers who agree with us should encourage him to reconsider.

City Council majority urges City to delay rail approval:

Today's Star Advertiser has a story by Kevin Dayton detailing the issue. The majority were Council Chair Ernest Martin, Ann Kobayashi, Ikaika Anderson, Tom Berg, and Tulsi Gabbard. Apparently they were not joined by Stanley Chang, Nestor Garcia, Breene Harimoto and possibly, Romy Cachola.

Similarly, Governor Ariyoshi expressed his concerns last Wednesday in a Star Advertiser op/ed titled, "Leave no stone unturned before passing rail's point of no return." which summed up his feelings on the subject. His final comment in the op/ed was as follows:

"Those who are minding the store now need to ask themselves if they are doing the right thing by them and take another close look at the options. The city and HART's best assurance of delivering a world-class rail system is to entrust the task to a company with a proven track record. That is the prediction of future success. Only then will people breathe easier — and travel better."

David Shapiro chimed in yesterday in his column titled, "Ariyoshi offers smart, sharp criticism of rail." Sharpiro commented that:

"Even many rail supporters are baffled by the city's apparent fixation on Ansaldo from the start and dogged support for the company as reports have mounted about questionable performance and turmoil in the home office."



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