Local Connection: Zipmobile - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Zipmobile

By: Rick Blangiardi

Last week's breakdown of the zipmobile and ensuing chaos on the roads proves once again that on an island, we are at the mercy of our ingenuity and smarts.

Neither was on display as the roads throughout most of Oahu were jammed for hours, well past rush hour and into the late evening. some motorists reported being stuck in traffic for three, four, even seven hours.

How foolish Hawaii looked to have to fly a technician from California to replace the battery on the zipmobile and reprogram the CPU cards. What's worse, the dot's communication was dismal, with very little notification through texts or e-mail.

The following day, April fool's day, the dot finally got its act together as reporters grilled administrators about what had happened and what was being done to prevent future occurrences. The governor finally spoke out but in typical fashion, expressed none of the outrage motorists were feeling.

By the end of last week, the dot said it had planned to obtain backup units for the failed battery packs and asked its vendor to train someone here to reinstall them and use their software.

They said they would improve communication with the media and ask the legislature for zipmobile replacements.

All great plans but where were they in the first place?

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