When TheBus Route 2 leaves Kalihi Transit Center on Middle Street at 4:35 a.m. Saturday, it will start and never stop.
That’s because at midnight Sunday, TheBus officially kicks off 24/7 service for the route, which connects Kalihi and Waikiki.
The last bus normally leaves Kalihi at 12:05 a.m. and doesn’t run again until 4:35 a.m. The new schedule has bus departures at 1:05, 2:10, and 3:15 a.m.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the continuous service is his administration making good on a promise to provide more transportation options to residents and visitors alike.
“It’s all about infrastructure and buses,” Caldwell said. “Transportation, infrastructure is about helping people live better on this very small island of almost a million people.”
Route 2 carries roughly 18,000 passengers every day and links much of Honolulu.
“We’re talking about Kalihi, Liliha, Chinatown, downtown, Kakaako, McCully, Waikiki, and Kapahulu. This Route 2 will touch all those communities,” Caldwell explained.
City Councilman Joey Manahan says he’s pleased to hear the news. He represents District 7, which includes a large portion of the area Route 2 runs through.
“This is really good news, especially for a lot of our working families who take this bus into town, especially for work. What it means for them is it takes away a lot of the pressure or anxiety of having to schedule your work hours around a bus schedule,” he said.
Kalani Yoza rides Route 2 from Kapiolani Community College to Ala Moana three days a week. He says making the route run 24/7 makes sense.
“A lot of the workforce here is from Waikiki to Kalihi to Makaha,” Yoza said. “I think it would be fairly beneficial considering a lot of the hotels and that are odd hours since they have to cater to tourists and they come at like four in the morning.”
Route 2 is the second bus on Oahu to run 24/7. Route 40, which runs through Makaha, also operates 24/7.
The routes intersect at King and Beretania streets.
Route 40 launched its 24-hour service on Dec. 3 17 years ago.
KHON2 asked city officials if there would be any additional measures taken to protect bus riders with the extended hours.
Oahu Transit Services general manager Jenny Lemaota said existing technology would provide the necessary security.
“We do have cameras on all of our buses both inside and outside the bus,” Lemaota explained. “All of our operators also have direct communication with our central control office, who has direct communication with the HPD.”
Although no additional security will be added to the bus, officials ask that we all do our part to keep it safe.
“If you do see something happening on the bus, please let the bus operator know as soon as possible,” Lemaota said.
Kalihi resident Cyrus Oasay said he doesn’t think safety will be an issue: “Yeah, you know there’s those people that roam around Waikiki at night, but overall, I think there’s more positives than negatives.”