HOLO card faces backlash during program’s inaugural day on Oahu

Local News

HONOLULU(KHON2) — Long lines and frustration marked the first day of the City’s new HOLO card program for TheBus.

The HOLO card went into effect on Thursday, July 1. The new electronic fare card replaced the old paper TheBus pass, but it was a bumpy ride for some.

The City said the HOLO card would deliver convenience for those who ride TheBus. It has been anything but that so far for many who were stuck in long lines or unable to get their card due to new rules.

One frustrated bus rider said the City, “should have anticipated this. Why do they only have two people? They should have one (line) for disability people, one for regular HOLO card. The line, can’t they separate the lines? It’s pretty frustrating.”

Skyler Medeiros works for United Self Help — which assists prisoners in transitioning back into the community — and said taking away the paper passes was “astronomically disastrous.”

“Yesterday we came by too cause we we were going to try get it yesterday, but the line was twice as long as this. It went right around the side,” Medeiros explained.

“It’s a longer line,” Bud Bowles President of United Self Help said. “But the bigger problem is, they changed the rules.”

Jon Nouchi, Deputy director of the Department of Transportation Services, said no identification is required for a standard adult HOLO card.

“…If anyone, including recent former inmates, requires any reduced-fare HOLO cards, they must present a valid form of official photo identification and related required paperwork….

“These discounted HOLO cards do require additional time to verify, process, and issue, accounting for long lines today in Kalihi.

“Since April, DTS and OTS have encouraged our passengers to get their HOLO cards well in advance of today, so they would have time to familiarize themselves with its new, convenient, and money-saving features.”

Medeiros said the new requirement makes it much harder for some who rely on TheBus for transportation.

“That messes up everything,” Medeiros added. “One of my clients just came out of prison a month ago and in order for him to get transportation we usually get them bus passes. But now the new policy is, without a valid ID, which they don’t have one because they just came out of prison, they can’t get a bus pass.”

Without transportation to get to jobs or interviews, he said many often return to crime to make ends meet.

“They need to have that so they do’t go back,” Medeiros explained.

Bowls said the new requirement only complicates things.

“I think they have to eliminate all the needless steps.”

For more information on the HOLO card, click here.

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