Finding Private Market Alternatives to TheBus

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Many are finding alternative to use of TheBus during the strike. They are impeded, however, by the lack of private entrepreneurial problem solving.

TheBus is a government protected monopoly and it acts like one, of course. It is exceptionally unresponsive to individual wants and needs. And what are those?


Each individual wants to get from where he is to where he wants to go in the quickest, cheapest, most comfortable way possible within his budget, individual preferences etc. That sounds rather simplistic, I suppose, but it is true. To give examples, Foodland, as well as your local restaurant or clothing store all work hard to satisfy your individual wants and needs.

But TheBus pretty much offers one size fits all and there is no effective competition allowed, except automobile.

Here is the solution: Have the government simply do away with the monopoly. Allow a thousand entrepreneurial flowers to blossom without undue interference. That means allow shared ride taxis and vans, jitneys, door to door radio dispatched service and whatever else Hawaii’s enterprising entrepreneurs can dream up. If that destroys TheBus, it may be safe to assume it was an outdated mode.

Which says what about the city’s proposed $1 billion Bus Rapid Transit system the mayor also is pushing ahead?

”’Richard O. Rowland is president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy institute focused on promoting the free-market, individual freedom and liberty. He can be reached via email at:”’