New law establishes single-day bus pass, eliminates transfers

You’ll soon be able to ride the bus as many times as you want over the course of 27 hours for $5.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 69 into law Thursday.

The bill, which was unanimously passed by the City Council last month, gets rid of the transfer slip and puts an all-day pass in its place.

Officials say transfers were too cumbersome and often taken advantage of by riders.

“These have been the bane of our drivers for many, many years. This is really a win-win for everybody,” said Roger Morton, Oahu Transit Services president and general manager. “Our system has gotten so complicated over the years as we built it out, that it’s very, very difficult for an operator to administer a rule like this, so… now the new one is we’re just going to check the date and if the date is right, then the trip is okay.

“I think most cities offer something like this now. We’ve done case studies of other cities. In other cities, it’s been an absolute winner and the customers really liked the convenience of being able to have the one-day pass,” Morton added.

Councilman Brandon Elefante introduced the bill. “I think this will be really great in terms of efficiency, and really also (eliminate) the abuse of transfers,” he said. “We’ll have to do away with that and be more environmentally friendly, and not printing a whole stack of transfers.”

The law also eliminates the $35 four-day pass, which was designed for visitors and only sold in Waikiki, Ala Moana, and the Kalihi Transit Center.

The one-day pass will be available starting in July. Officials say the 27-hour period will allow anyone who works a long workday to have time to catch the bus back home without being penalized.

“That will give the opportunity for people especially living on the west side from Kahala to Waianae the opportunity to get home if they’re working late, to utilize that so they don’t have to pick up a transfer,” Elefante said.

Riders will still be able to pay for single-cash fares.


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