The state on Tuesday unveiled a two-year pilot program designed to help clear Oahu's freeways of stalls and crashes during rush hour traffic.
The Freeway Service Patrol is modeled after program in other cities around the country. The team will change flat tires, jump start vehicles, refill radiators and make temporary repairs.
The free emergency roadside service is a collaboration of the state Department of Transportation, Honolulu Police Department, City Department of Transportation Services, Emergency Medical Services and the Honolulu Fire Department.
The service will prevent traffic from backing up and causing longer commute times, especially during peak rush hours. Services that will be provided include changing flat tires, jump-starting a car, refilling radiators and making temporary repairs. This translates to saving time by reducing delays on the road, saving money by burning less gas and saving our environment through reduced air emissions.
"Studies show that for every tax dollar spent on Freeway Service Patrol services, the public will realize a benefit many times above the amount spent to fund the program. A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley calculated the average driver would save $8 for every $1 spent on that state's regional FSP programs. These ratios do not factor in the benefits associated with air quality improvement or accident reduction," Department of Transportation Director Brennon Morioka said in a written statement.
The Freeway Service Patrol will cover about 15 miles of freeway. The patrol's route includes the H-1 Freeway between the H-1/H-2 merge and the Likelike Highway off-ramp, and Moanalua Freeway. The patrol will work from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays.
"We chose that because that's the primary area where we have all the bottlenecks and actually the majority of our stalls and accidents, and so we wanted to make sure initially when we start the program, we're tackling the toughest areas," Morioka said.
The pilot program will cost nearly $4 million with 90 percent of the funds coming from federal government.