With the elevated rail transit project underway, voters in November 2010 overwhelmingly approved a charter amendment to create a semi-autonomous public transit authority to oversee the planning, construction, operation and extension of the rail system. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) began operations July 1, 2011, with existing rail transit staff, contracts and resources. HART will have a 10-member volunteer board of directors that includes three members appointed by the mayor, three members selected by the Honolulu City Council, and the city and state transportation directors. They will collectively choose a ninth member from the community. The city's director of planning and permitting will serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board.
The Mayor's appointees are:
- William "Buzz" Hong, former executive director of the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council
- Don Horner, chairman and chief executive officer of First Hawaiian Bank
- Colleen Hanabusa, served on the Hawaii State Legislature, and served in the United States Congress.
The City Council's appointees are:
- Terrance Lee, a partner in the law firm Sullivan Meheula Lee
- Damien Kim, business manager and financial secretary of the international Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1186
- Ivan Lui-Kwan, an attorney and director with Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher and a former city budget director
Other members designated by the charter are:
- City Department of Transportation Services Director currently Michael Formby
- State Department of Transportation Director currently Ford Fuchigami
- City Department of Planning and Permitting Director as an ex-officio, nonvoting member currently George I. Atta
The member selected by the eight voting members of the board are:
- currently vacant