TRANSIT: Honolulu considers integrating bus, rail services

Issues at hand include schedule alignment, fare structures

April 12, 2013

With a new rail system on its way to Honolulu complement its existing bus service, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) and Oahu Transit Services (OTS) had their first joint meeting this week to discuss how to better integrate the two systems.


The vision is for passengers to be able to step off of the train and go immediately to a bus, and vice versa. This would require heavy coordination of schedules, a prospect that both sides feel should be workable.  


One of the first and biggest issues to consider is whether to keep two separate management boards or consolidate into one. Money could ultimately be the deciding factor, but there have been no predictions or projections on how much taxpayer money would be saved by a consolidation.


The other major obstacle is how to reorganize the fare structure for both systems. Both boards agree that there should be one pass that can be used with rail or TheBus, but stress that it must also be affordable.

Construction has begun on the rail system, but is currently on hiatus until September. Originally scheduled to debut in 2016, the project is now not expected to open until 2017. HART is expecting to get its federal funding for the project cut by $14 million for this year.