City rolls out new transit card pilot program

Eventually all public transportation will be accessed by using the new HOLO card being tested...
Eventually all public transportation will be accessed by using the new HOLO card being tested this winter.(Casey Lund | Hawaii News Now)
Published: Dec. 1, 2018 at 10:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The first passengers on Honolulu’s new rail system won’t take that inaugural ride for another two years, but the initial elements of the system like the new HOLO card are coming to life.

Eventually all public transportation will be accessed using the HOLO card, including the first segment of rail on the west side that is scheduled to be completed sometime in the year 2020.

The city is hoping that by rolling the system out on The Bus ahead of time so riders can become familiar with the card and the city can work out any kinks.

HART’s Fair Collection Manager Whitney Birch says the HOLO card is meant to streamline the entire transit system and make it more accessible for everyone.

“In the future you will need it to get on rail and that is why we are giving them out for free,” Birch said.

The benefits of using the HOLO card include: there’s no paper tickets to keep track of; if your card is lost or stolen there is balance protection; and users can set up auto-load payments so you’re never stuck without a fare.

The testing phase will last for three months starting Dec. 1. After the test period, you can pick up a card at satellite city halls, 100 retailers island-wide and TheBus Pass Office.

The city could start charging a small fee of $2 once the program is completely rolled out. In about a year, the card will completely replace all paper passes.

“Customers will have the choice, they can stand there at the bus stop if they want on their phone and load value, they can do it in the comfort of their own home or they can go down to the regular retailer that they usually use and load a pass or value,” Birch added.

Currently, riders can only utilize the HOLO card on the bus; however, in the future, users will be able to use the HOLO card on the Handi-Van and on the rail in the future.

At some point the city hopes to connect the HOLO card to bike share services like Biki - though nothing official has been announced just yet.

Keiki and kupuna riders interested in trying it out, can pick up their cards beginning Dec. 3 at TheBus Pass Office.

For more information, call 808-768-HOLO (4565) or click here.

Watch below to see how to use the HOLO card.

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