Among the many prominent citizens raising pointed questions about the elevated rail project is George Ariyoshi, our Governor from 1974 to 1986.
In his Nov. 11, 2011, Honolulu Star-Advertiser op-ed, “Leave no stone unturned before passing rail’s point of no return,” Governor Ariyoshi details his concerns about the bidding process that awarded Ansaldo a key contract to deliver train cars and train control systems and to operate and maintain the rail system. Here’s an excerpt:
“In this current rail project, there are many questions. The chosen bidder did not have a license at the time of bid, therefore did not comply with the RFP (Request For Proposals).
Also, the penalty assessed did not comply with existing statutes, and the bid price did not appear to cover the true cost of the project.
If you were seeking to do a project, you ought to be concerned about:
- Getting a fair price, not one doctored to appear low.
- The past performance of the party on a similar situation in other places.
- The viability of the party to see the project through, which would include the support or non-support of related companies.
All of these concerns now exist with this rail project. This raises many questions about the chosen party’s ability to complete the project, from start to finish.
We are dangerously close to the point of no return, but there is still time to rethink and consider where we are.”