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August 1993

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Committee Meetings
Can We Reform Our High Schools?
Planning & Zoning: Testimony (Astrid Monson)
Statement on Bus Fares
Statement on Zoning: Historic Structures
Statement on Convention Center
Testimony on Ewa Marina Zone
Membership Information

Statement on Bill No. 53, Relating to Bus Fares, before the City Council on June 23, 1993

Honolulu's bus system carries more passengers for its population than any other city in the United States. Our bus fares are among the lowest in the nation. These two facts are closely related.

In order to maintain and, indeed increase our bus ridership, we feel that bus fares should be kept as low as possible. We are just starting to undertake alternatives to the late -- but not-lamented -- rail proposal, alternatives primarily encouraging people to change from single occupancy vehicles to bus transit.

Just at this moment, however, the Public Transit authority is threatening to decrease bus services and eliminate a number of routes. We urge you not to permit this to happen. The level of transit service should not be dependent on higher fares. Transit is a major public utility and its funding must have priority over less essential services and facilities. Improving transit service is far cheaper than building more highway facilities.

Whether or not you decide to raise bus fares, we urge you to increase the transit budget so that, far from cutting services as the HPTA proposes, bus ridership can be increased by the provision of more buses, faster speeds, greater comfort, better scheduling, and greater reliability. To do otherwise is to be penny wise and pound foolish.

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