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Final Report - Honolulu Rail Transit Financial Plan Assessment

Final Report - Honolulu Rail Transit Financial Plan Assessment

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Published by Craig Gima
Complete final report of the Honolulu Rail Transit Financial Assessment ordered by Gov. Linda LIngle.
Complete final report of the Honolulu Rail Transit Financial Assessment ordered by Gov. Linda LIngle.

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Published by: Craig Gima on Dec 03, 2010
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11/08/2011

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The Brown Line in Chicago’s transit system has been in operation for over 100 years and has been
one of CTA’s busiest rail routes. Its 19 stations serve more than 80,000 daily riders, offering
service between Kimball and downtown Chicago. The expansion project was meant to relieve
congestion by lengthening the station platforms to be able to accommodate eight car trains rather
than six car trains. It also sought to make Brown Line stations accessible in accordance with the
Americans Disabilities Act.

The FTA reported (in 2001) that the estimated capital costs for the project would be $327 million
with three quarters of the funding coming from federal New Starts Funding.72 CTA’s website
currently reports that the actual capital costs for the project were $530 million when the project was
finished in 2009,73 making it CTA’s single largest capital improvement project.74

Financial Plan Assessment
Feasibility and Fiscal Implications of the
Honolulu Rail Transit Project

December 1, 2010

Page 88

The original plan for the construction period was to not disrupt any station operations. It was
promised that all stations would remain open during the construction period. Due to budgetary
constraints, CTA was forced to find cost savings of $152 million. Obtaining land and air rights
needed for the expansion proved to be more expensive than expected. They began by eliminating
janitorial and communications rooms, decided to refurbish some assets instead of replacing them,
etc. However, CTA found that these savings were not going to be enough.

Finally CTA admitted that substantial overruns were certain due to their efforts to keep the stations
open during the reconstruction. It was very costly to not give contractors full access to the site,
which led to closing stations for limited amounts of time while they were in construction and
providing bus service to make up the difference as the only option to keep the project within
budget. This produced outrage from the community and politicians, but CTA had no option but to
renege on its promise to keep the stations open in order to keep costs within the FFGA.75

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