Whether you drive a car or catch the bus, prepare to pay more for your ride


There have been numerous proposals to increase fees and taxes in Honolulu.

A couple of them already went into effect. Others will start Jan. 1, 2018.

In three weeks, people who own a car or catch the bus will see an increase in rates.

Next year, the vehicle weight tax will go up one cent for every pound of a car, truck, and commercial vehicle.

So if you own a four-door sedan, you could be paying an extra $30 a year for your car registration.

One Kaneohe resident has three vehicles he’ll need to register. All of them weigh about 3,000 to 4,000 pounds.

“For us, I think it’s going to be bearable, but I can’t speak for everyone. I’m sure it’s going to have a financial impact on a lot of people,” said Glen Yokotake.

The revenue will go to road repairs and to pay for public transportation, which includes the operation and maintenance of rail.

If you do not own a vehicle, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

Adult bus riders will have to pay extra starting next month. One-way fares will be 25 cents more.  A day pass is up 50 cents.

A monthly pass goes up $10, raising the price to $70 a month. You’ll save a little if you buy the annual pass, which is going up to $770.

A city spokesman tells us fares were raised to stay in compliance with the “fare box recovery ratio,” which states that 27 to 33 percent of the operating costs must be covered by the fare box.

Senior one-way and day-pass fares will remain the same, but for monthly passes, seniors will see a dollar increase. The annual fare will go up $5.

Harry Watai just turned 65. He got his bus pass right away.

“We both drive, but we decided because the price that we pay, $30 for the whole year, it’s really a good deal,” said his wife, Michele Watai. “For me, I don’t want to park the car.”

“Especially in Waikiki. There’s no parking there,” added Harry Watai.

“It’s too expensive to park. Spend that money on us,” said Michele Watai.

The new prices for monthly and annual bus passes  take effect Dec. 20.

That’s when January bus passes are available for purchase.

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