Honolulu transit agency names new CEO, executive director

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Andrew Robbins
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
HONOLULU — Honolulu’s rail transit project will move forward under the guidance of a new CEO and executive director. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has named Andrew Robbins as the agency’s next CEO and executive director.

According to the authority, Robbins is a seasoned rail transit executive with an extensive knowledge in areas of urban rail, rail equipment, infrastructure, and construction management, among others. He has background in managing transit projects and is familiar with engineering, operations, and maintenance.

Robbins, a Bombardier Transportation senior executive, was selected from seven finalists.

“I fully realize the challenges that lie ahead for this project and the community concerns that come along with them,” says Robbins.

Robbins will takeover as the authority’s top leader at a time when its rail project faces criticism related to cost overruns.

In June, the authority barely secured $350 million in city bonds to help pay for bills on existing contracts and allow construction to continue. The measure received six votes, the minimum number of votes required on bond-related measures, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported in June.

And in April 2017, former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano urged U.S. President Donald Trump to end federal spending on the rail project. The former governor urged the President to withhold approximately $800 million left in the Federal Transit Administration’s $1.55-billion grant awarded to the authority.

Project costs were originally estimated at around $5.26 billion, but are now closer to $10 billion when calculating interest payoffs, the former governor stated in a Washington Post full-page ad published in April 2017 and directed to the Trump administration.

The full scope of the project calls for a 20-mile, 21-station elevated rail system connecting downtown Honolulu attractions with East Kapolei in Oahu. The first phase of the route between Kapolei to Aloha Stadium may open in 2020, according to a frequently asked questions page on the authority's website.

Robbins will begin his first day on Sept. 5.

See the news release online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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