HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A popular program that helps drivers stranded on the H-1 freeway will be expanding.
The state announced that starting Monday the Freeway Service Patrol will cover an additional 3.8 miles on the H-1 Freeway, extending from the current end point at the Vineyard Blvd. off ramp to University Ave.
Three fully equipped pick-ups will also be added to the fleet of seven two trucks.
The service will still be free. The state Department of Transportation said other changes are being made, so there will be virtually no increase in cost to the state.
"It's gonna help the eastside relieve more traffic, I believe, because of the accidents," said patrol driver Chanin Kahele. "That's 'cause there too, we're there to help to get them off so I think it will ease up a little bit more."
Drivers who've been helped by the Freeway Service Patrol are glad the service is expanding.
"This is important because in ten minutes they were right behind me and everything just felt so much safer," said Yvette Coleman, who is one of those rescued drivers.
The pilot program costs about $2 million a year. The state pays about $200,000, with the rest paid for by federal funding.