Resolution asks for restoration of city bus service without raising fares

Published On: Jul 19 2012 06:50:25 PM HST   Updated On: Jul 20 2012 10:06:40 AM HST

City Councilman Tom Berg and Council Chairman Ernie Martin have sponsored a resolution that asks Mayor Peter Carlisle's administration to waive a decades-old rule that says 27 to 33 percent of the cost of operating The Bus must come from the fare box.

If the resolution passes the full Council, it would allow the city to restore bus routes that were altered or discontinued last month, without raising fares during the current fiscal year.

"My general feeling is that with the way the economy is right now, I don't think it is the right time for us to raise fares at this point," Martin told KITV4.

The city's Department of Transportation Services altered or discontinued more than 20 bus routes on June 3 to cope with a $10.5 million increase in operating expenses. Even with the cutbacks, the city expects to spend $3 million more on fuel than the previous fiscal year.

Donald Au of Manoa gathered a petition of 600 signatures after Route 5 was scaled back during peak travel times. The route loops through Manoa and Makiki before ending up at the Ala Moana Shopping Center.

"My wife works at Sears, and now that the service has been cut from every 30 minutes to every hour, she has to go to work half an hour earlier," said Au. "All the riders that I see all the time, they're really unhappy about it."

The resolution to waive the city's fare box mandate is scheduled to be heard by the Council's Budget Committee on Wednesday.  If it passes, it could head to the full Council by the middle of August for final adoption.

"We're hoping that it doesn't take that long for the (Department of Transportation Services) to be proactive and just move forward," said Martin.

DTS Director Wayne Yoshioka told KITV4 he's examining the resolution sponsored by the two councilmen. He said even if the measure passes the Council, the question remains as to where the city would find the extra money to restore bus routes.

However, Martin said a review of the past two budget cycles shows DTS allowed $8 million to go unspent.

"There are ways they probably can look at in terms of tightening the belt, and then identify those funds to restore the (bus) services," said Martin.

The Council chairman also believes the city could use a federal Community Development Block Grant to restore bus service cuts. He said former Mayor Jeremy Harris used such a grant to provide bus service to the Leeward Coast.

"So, it's not setting new precedence to use these funds to augment that service," said Martin.

Berg, meanwhile, has tied the cutbacks in bus service to construction of the city's controversial $5.3 billion rail project, even though Yoshioka insists there's no link.

"Bus service should be enhanced, not cut," Berg said in a written statement. "Buses beat rail on all fronts and it is buses that should get funded over this rail boondoggle."


The views expressed are not those of this site, this station or its affiliated companies. By posting your comments you agree to accept our terms of use.
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • CHI vCHI v. OAK Jay Cutler Week 4

    David Banks Getty Images

    Cutler drives Bears past Raiders

    They were already starting to think it was the "same old Jay" on Sunday at Soldier Field when he threw a fourth-quarter interception that the Oakland Raiders turned into a go-ahead field goal against Cutler's Chicago Bears.

    But, despite the after-effects of a hamstring injury that kept him out of a game last week, Cutler instead played the hero instead of the goat. He drove the Bears 48 yards in the last two minutes, Robbie Gould kicked his third field goal of the game, a 49-yarder with two seconds remaining, and the Bears beat the Raiders, 22-20, for their first victory of the season.

    Cutler deferred credit to a jury-rigged offensive line, juggled because of injuries, but the difference in the game was the patience he showed — maybe because the hamstring forced him to — in completing 28 of 43 passes, including 5 of 8 on the winning drive.

    "There were a lot of moving parts up there, and those guys held their own," said Cutler, who acknowledged that he was limited "a little bit" physically by the hamstring and deliberately kept himself from trying to scramble out of the pocket.

    "He's a tough son of a bug," Chicago coach John Fox said of his quarterback. "He's got an injury that some lesser guys might not have been out there."

    Chicago started the game with a backup replacing injured left tackle Jermon Bushrod and then had to juggle further when center Will Montgomery suffered an apparent broken leg on the third play from scrimmage. As a result, left guard Matt Slauson slid into the center spot and that may have been at least partially responsible for a fumbled snap that led to an Oakland touchdown.

    But staying in the pocket may prove the best strategy for Cutler, even when his hamstring is fully healthy, because it reduces the margin for error.

    Instead, it appeared it was the Raiders who made the most grievous error by settling for a field goal with 2:05 remaining to take a 20-19 lead and effect the sixth lead change of the game, rather than play aggressively for a touchdown that might have made a Chicago comeback more difficult.

    After they got to the Bears' 33-yard line with more than four minutes remaining, Oakland did not throw another pass, instead calling four consecutive running plays before Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 41-yard field goal.

    "They were pretty conservative," Cutler said.

    Oakland coach Jack Del Rio defended the play calling, saying, "I think we felt like we were moving it pretty good and thought we had a better shot to move the sticks on that third-and-two."

    One problem for the Raiders was that, by that point in the game, Del Rio already had benched his leading rusher, Latavius Murray, because of a lost fumble and two dropped passes, one of which Murray bounced into an interception.

    After the Janikowski kick, the Bears kick-started their winning drive with Cutler's fourth down completion to tight end Martellus Bennett, who caught 11 passes, second highest total of his career, for 83 yards.

    With the Bears essentially conceding the sideline passes to Cutler — allowing not only completions but clock stappages — the Bears had plenty of time to work downfield. Cutler found Matt Forte for seven yards and then Marquess Wilson for six on 3rd-and-3.

    After a downfield shot fell incomplete, Eddie Royal made a nifty sideline catch for 12 yards and then Wilson, who earlier on the drive dropped a pass, made a fingertip grab for nine.

    That was pretty much all Chicago needed and, after running Forte into the line for two, the Bears called on Gould — who, to that point had been the difference in the game due to a blocked extra point.

    Gould, whose other field goals were from 19 and 54 yards, nailed the winning kick with plenty to spare.

    "It was awesome when we were celebrating with two seconds left on the clock," Gould said. "Those are the type of wins you want to see, and usually, those type of wins catapult a team and give them a lot of confidence for the next week."

    There were "a couple of areas that will stand out," Del Rio said, and the most that gnawed on him most clearly was his team's third-down defense. The Bears, who had converted only 16 of 42 third downs into first downs in their three losses, were 10 for 17 in this game.

    "They played well, and we didn't play as well as we're capable of," Del Rio said. "These things happen. They get paid, too."

    NOTES: QB Jay Cutler returned to the lineup after missing one game but the Bears played without three injured regulars including No. 1 wideout Alshon Jeffery. Also missing were OLT Jermon Bushrod and NT Jeremiah Ratliff. … The Bears lost C Will Montgomery with an ankle injury on the third play of the game, causing shuffling on the line. LG Matt Slauson moved to center and Patrick Omameh went in at left guard. … Oakland WR Michael Crabtree left the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter but returned. … Bears FS Antrell Rolle was injured (ankle) on the first play of the third quarter and did not return.

  • Colts beat Jags in OT

  • Freeman fuels Falcons in win over Houston

  • Jets down Dolphins in London

  • Giants air it out in road win against Bills

  • More