HONOLULU (KHON2) — Bus fares are going up and so are prices for passes.
Adults will have to pay $80 — up from $70 — for a monthly pass starting Friday, July 1.
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The director of the Department of Transportation Services (DTS) said the $80 monthly pass is a steal for daily riders.
“Even with the increase in the bus fare, I think that $80, this is a tremendous bargain,” said DTS director Roger Morton. “It’s better just to put the money on the card and we’ll give you the best fare.”
The card is a Holocard, which can be found at local retailers, satellite city halls or ordered through the mail. The price hikes have been in the works since 2021 and Morton said ridership still has not recovered from the pandemic lull — buses ran at 25% occupancy in March 2020.
“Like the airlines and the mass transit, we still have not fully recovered from that,” Morton said. “We are about 60% recovered.”
While bus ridership has not caught up to pre-pandemic levels, folks who spoke to KHON2 said the pain at the pump is certainly playing into their daily commute.
“It’s a big factor because you tend to save more money. It’s smarter to do it this way, everybody can’t afford a vehicle,” said TheBus rider Arron Thomas. “Everything’s going up, you know, especially what’s going on in the Ukraine and everything like that. Cost of gas and maintenance of the buses, so it’s to be expected.”
Others thought of locals who may not be able to afford the increases.
“For very poor people it’s terrible, and seniors,” said TheBus rider Alton Slater. “We could afford the increase and we know that gas prices have gone up considerably,” said Slater’s wife, Lee, “but as my husband said, there are people it would have impacted much greater than ourselves.”
Morton said many people are still working from home, but asked them to catch TheBus when work calls them back into the office.
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“I would encourage our local residents that used to use TheBus to come back and I’d recommend that people that can use TheBus, consider it,” Morton said.