Oahu cracking down on counterfeit bus passes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Oahu cracking down on counterfeit bus passes

Trever Osburn Trever Osburn
Mayor Mufi Hannemann Mayor Mufi Hannemann

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The May bus pass features a butterfly, Hawaiian flag, and a multi-colored scheme on the front. A bar code and serial number on the back.

But placed next to a counterfeit that's making the rounds, it's pretty hard to tell the difference.

"I've never seen anything as rampant as it is right now," said Roger Morton, president of Oahu Transit Services.

Drivers for TheBus first spotted the counterfeits two weeks ago.

So far they have confiscated 198 of them. Eighty were confiscated from riders on Monday.

"I wouldn't buy one but it doesn't surprise me," bus rider Trever Osburn said.

Honolulu police said the bogus cards are being sold on the street and maybe even in shops not authorized to sell genuine monthly passes.

"The dead giveaway of these bus passes is that you can feel the edge of the silver strip (on the bottom) and that should be the first warning that this is a counterfeit bus pass," Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said.

Another giveaway is the street price.

The city charges $50 for a one-month pass. Counterfeiters are selling their cards for $20 to $25 apiece.

Trying to board a bus with a counterfeit card is a crime.

"Users are subject to a misdemeanor violation. So they're subject to up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine," said HPD Maj. Carlton Nishimura.

Oahu Transit Services has been urging bus drivers to be more vigilant.

"They're holding the bus passes, they're feeling them, they're doing all of the things that we asked them to do," Morton said.

Police arrested two people who tried to use the counterfeit passes.  But cops really hope to trace the cards back to the maker and seller of a crime that's taking TheBus for a ride.


  • Satellite City Halls
  • TheBus Pass Office
  • Foodland Stores
  • Times Supermarket
  • 7-Eleven Stores
  • Selected ABC Stores
  • Chit Chat Store - Bishop Square
  • UH  Manoa - Campus Center
  • Hawaii Pacific University Book Store
  • Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union

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