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Honolulu rail officials debate funding, feds want details

Updated: 
May 18, 2017 - 1:27pm

HONOLULU — The Honolulu rail transit project’s top official says the federal government is anxious for more details on how the city plans to pay for its partially built $8.2 billion rail line.

The project faces a funding shortfall of up to $3 billion, and the state Legislature ended its last session without agreeing on who to tax to fund the project.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation interim CEO Krishniah Murthy and the board on Thursday discussed how the project will run out of money in January.

Board members debated asking the Honolulu City Council for permission to issue up to $350 million in bonds. But some said they should consider issuing more bonds than that.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Yu says $350 million in bonds would last until June 2018.

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