With no ridership rebound in sight, city bus system plans route changes

More than two years after the start of the pandemic, ridership on the city bus is still only about half of what it was.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 5:13 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 12, 2022 at 5:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than two years after the start of the pandemic, ridership on the city bus is still only about half of what it was.

According to the city’s Department of Transportation Services TheBus currently has about 115,000 daily riders. That’s down from 195,000 prior to the pandemic ― a 41% decline.

“So we still have a long way to go to recover our ridership,” said Roger Morton, Transportation Services director.

Right now, there are plans to restructure some routes in an effort to help schools cope with bus driver shortages.

He says next month, TheBus will be adding 39 express trips.

“And we’re going to be starting a new campus collector route that’s designed to help our schools that are mauka of the H-1 connect with our buses and our other regional buses that come into Honolulu to provide a fast ride for our schools,” Morton said.

Meanwhile, he had this message for current passengers.

“People should not worry,” said Morton. “We’re not planning on eliminating routes. But we’re planning on restructuring them to make our service more convenient, more direct and faster.”

The director says by next June ridership should rebound but not all the way.

Morton anticipates it will only be 75% of what it was prior to the pandemic.

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