For some, test of rail-bus connections ends with disappointment
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - City transportation officials have worked hard to coordinate opening of the Skyline rail system with local bus routes.
But some areas are still out of reach for rapid transit.
Hawaii News Now reporter Daryl Huff tested the connections by trying to get to his home in Makakilo from the television station in Kalihi.
First, there was a hike to the nearest bus stop: A narrow strip of asphalt on Nimitz Highway near the Kalihi Street intersection. The Route 20 bus on Monday was about 10 minutes behind schedule.
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The ride fell further behind schedule with traffic at the airport and a stop at Pearl Harbor.
Kurt Anders was also on the bus, seeking the same answers.
“I was trying to find out if basically I could get on the rail and the bus and take less time in the commute,” Anders said. “But it seems to be not because I have to transfer. I used to take one bus before.”
The Route 20 bus took almost 45 minutes just to get to the rail station at Halawa.
City Deputy Transportation Director Jon Nouchi recommended apps like Google or Apple Maps.
“We put all of our real time information out there. And the technology apps come in, they grab that information and package it for trip planning,” Nouchi said.
The rail line Monday was crowded but still moved like clockwork, taking precisely 20 minutes to reach the station at UH West Oahu. But there, this Makakilo commuter found more disappointment.
The Route 461, the only one that serves upper Makakilo from the rail station, was half an hour away.
“Our hillside neighborhoods don’t see as frequent services,” Nouchi said, adding that density of population drives decisions about route schedules.
“As ridership grows and you know, the needs change, we will always look at the demand out there.”
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