Federal transit agency approves Honolulu rapid rail plan

HONOLULU — A federal agency has approved a rail recovery plan submitted by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday that U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says the Federal Transit Administration approved the proposal submitted earlier this year.The recovery plan was submitted by the city transportation authority to demonstrate Honolulu has a workable proposal for completing the 20-mile (32-kilometre) rail line.The line was originally estimated to cost $5.2 billion and be completed next year, but the transit administration now projects completion in 2026 at a cost of $9.2 billion.Schatz says the approval recognizes efforts to improve accountability and control costs.Rapid transportation authority Executive Director Andrew Robbins says the approval clears the way for the release of $744 million in grant funding.___Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.comThe Associated Press

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