City to restore and improve 5 bus routes
Many Oahu bus riders had to tack on a few more minutes of wait time at bus stops this year, but some of the old schedules and routes are back on line.
Some of those who catch the bus say sitting at and waiting for long periods of time can get annoying, but relief for riders on five routes are on the way starting Sunday.
"We're restoring service frequencies," says Mike Formby, Director of Transportation Services.
Mayors Kirk Caldwell is sticking to one of his campaign commitments to restore bus routes. Phase two of the mayors plan to reduce passenger wait times rolls out Sunday starting with Route 55.
"Some of the changes that happened in 2012 we're good, but most we're bad," says Formby.
The Route 55 services Ala Moana from Kaneohe to Haleiwa. Buses frequencies are every 60 minutes but the city will now reduce that by 15 minutes.
Thats just the first of five route improvements, four more are set to begin on Tuesday. Many of them because of the communities response to last years bus cuts.
"We had petitions, we had emails, we had telephone calls, and then we actually went out to neighborhood boards," says Formby.
Another route concerning riders is Route 5 from Manoa to Ala Moana. This routes frequency is currently at one hour.
"For the people that are coming down into town to go to work, that's too much so we're putting buses back," says Formby.
Bus frequency for Route 5 will now go back to every 30 minutes.
Daisy Higa catches the Country Express Route C to town from Waianae. She says wait times can reach up to an hour and a half, stranding her from her daily job in town. On Tuesday, the city will restore mid day service to every 30 minutes.
"Most of us would be really happy to continue to ride the bus and get to work on time because that's our main source of transportation," says Higa.
"Transit is the lifeline for the transiting public, that's how they get to work, that's how they shop, that's how they go to the doctors, they rely upon it," says Formby.
Two more routes set for service improvements are the 1L and 2L starting in Kalihi. The City's not finished yet. Route 13 from Liliha to UH Manoa will also see an improvement in service. That starts in August.
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