The following was posted by a friend as a comment on a previous entry, but I’m elevating it to a guest post because it clearly expresses the problem with the city’s proposed cutbacks in bus services.
I am extremely concerned with the cutbacks in the bus service on O‘ahu.
The bus that serves the Windward side, route 55, has had a stable schedule since at least the mid-1970s. Now, as a result of high gas prices and economic privation generally, bus ridership is higher that it has ever been before. Furthermore, we are constantly encouraged to “go green” and lower our “carbon footprint.” So, naturally, the appropriate response to this is to cut bus service to just once every hour.
[In this part of the island, there are no alternative routes to choose from. One bus each hour--that's all there will be.]
Each morning when I get on the bus in Ka‘a‘awa, it is over half full. That means that when this new schedule kicks in, and we are reduced to half the number of buses, anyone who lives south of La‘ie or Hau‘ula will be standing on the bus for over an hour on their way to town.
No one who relies on the bus from any point north of Kahalu‘u is affluent. As it is, the bus is so inconvenient that the only people who use it are those who absolutely have to. And I suppose that is the real problem here. We are a population utterly bereft of clout. We are not constituents of anyone.
When I speak to my fellow bus riders, they are all upset about this imminent change, but they will not say anything to anyone about it. Like most Americans of modest means, they have always known that, as time goes by, life only gets worse and worse.
Thank you for bringing this up, Ian.