REPORT FROM THE CITY & COUNTY OF HONOLULU – The City Department of Transportation Services (DTS) today announced that it will increase bus service to assist riders affected by the State Department of Education (DOE) cutting back its school bus service. The increased City bus service will begin Monday, July 30, 2012 on the following routes:
- Route 41 (Kapolei – Ewa Beach)
- Route 44 (Ewa Villages/Ewa Beach – Waipahu)
- Route 53 (Pacific Palisades – Honolulu)
- Route 73 (Leeward Community College – Pearl City)
Federal rules prohibit the City from providing bus service exclusively for school service, but DTS may increase bus service in areas where students will most likely ride City buses. DTS is targeting areas where ridership is expected to increase due to the DOE’s termination of certain school bus services.
“By utilizing projected fuel cost savings, we are proactively working to ensure that students along with our regular riders won’t be stranded when school starts later this month,” said Wayne Y. Yoshioka, DTS director. “Hopefully, this will bridge the gap until the DOE can formulate a more permanent solution to their school bus problem.”
DTS has also made the following updates at minimal cost in response to feedback from riders about recent City bus route and schedule changes:
- Route 2 (Middle Street – Waikiki): Adjusted schedule to address overcrowding; reformulating Route 2A to serve King/Beretania in Downtown
- Route C (Makaha – Ala Moana): Adjusted schedule to address overcrowding and transfer coordination
- Route 55 (Honolulu – North Shore): Altered start point to provide early buses in the Kahaluu-Heeia area; larger, articulated buses to address off-peak overcrowding
- Route 65 (Kaneohe – Honolulu): Working with Kahaluu community to refine route terminus
- Route 14 (St. Louis – Waialae): Will alter Route 22 to serve Diamond Head/Kahala Avenue currently served by 14; will alter Route 24 to serve Puu Panini/22nd Avenue currently served by 14; and still working with St. Louis Heights and Maunalani Heights communities on final route
The City will continue to monitor routes impacted by these recent changes and update them as practicable. Many riders have already provided comments and as a result, certain suggestions have been incorporated. DTS continues to listen to riders and actively address issues that have been identified. To provide specific route feedback, e-mail DTS at TheBusStop@honolulu.gov or call 768-8365 during business hours.
Increased labor costs and fuel cost projections during the City’s budget cycle led to the implementation of certain service changes on June 3. These changes were necessary to avoid increasing bus fares, and to manage operations efficiently. Changes focused on off-peak time periods. Peak period bus service was mostly left unchanged.
DTS conducted extensive outreach prior to the June 3 implementation and continues to speak to community groups and riders in preparation for additional route changes scheduled in August.