Bill to allow ads on city buses deferred

By Kenny Choi
Published On: Jan 17 2014 01:28:00 PM HST

The Honolulu City Council's Budget Committee deferred the bus advertising bill until the Mayor presents his budget for the upcoming year.

HONOLULU -

A push to allow advertisements on city buses in Honolulu has hit a speed bump.

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The city's budget committee deferred Bill 69 choosing to wait and see the mayor's budget for the upcoming year.

Opponents of Bill 69 believe advertisements on TheBus will ruin the beauty of Hawaii.

According to city officials, new ads placed on the exterior of buses could generate up to $8 million annually and lead to more improvements including shorter wait times for people who use TheBus everyday.

"We agree to improve bus services, but we don't believe it's necessary to weaken sign laws and undermine our scenic beauty to do it," said Marti Townsend from The Outdoor Circle.

"Over 20 years, that's $160 million," said Transportation Services Director Mike Formby.  "Don't think anyone will look back in hindsight and say we should have left that money on the table.  Year by year, not that big but $8 million a year is a lot more buses on the streets."

The only committee member who voted against deferring the bill was Councilman Stanley Chang.  He supports Mayor Caldwell's plan to move Bill 69 into the fast lane and send it back to the full council, which will likely revisit the issue when the mayor presents his budget in March.

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