Rail officials offer tips for riders as Skyline moves into regular service

July Fourth was another very busy day on the Skyline rail system as thousands enjoyed free rides for the last time.
Published: Jul. 4, 2023 at 5:54 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 4, 2023 at 5:55 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - July Fourth was another very busy day on the Skyline rail system as thousands enjoyed free rides for the last time.

After hosting tens of thousands of riders, the city is offering tips for safety, efficiency and comfort.

Many of the tips should be taken to heart by bicycle riders who are welcome on the system but require extra care in maneuvering in the crowded stations.

The first tip is that at the entry gates where you first tap your Holo card, there are special wider gates for wheelchairs, strollers, luggage and bikes.

Bikes can be wheeled through the stations and there are wheel gutters on the stairways.

But some bikers found the gutters difficult to use because the stairways are steep and at landings the peddle crack and chain strike the concrete.

Navigating the bike into the crowded train before the doors close brings up the next rule: Do not hold open the automated doors or gates.

That could delay the train and city officials said accidental blockage isn’t dangerous.

“If it tries to close there are some safety systems called interlocks that will prevent the train from going if a door is opened,” said Jon Nouchi, the city’s deputy director of Transportation Services.


And as the doors close, remember the biggest rule of all: Hold on.

Electric trains start quickly, and first-time rider Larry Buendia of Aiea had a warning for families.

“You just gotta hang on like I said it’s a little shaky,” Buendia said. “And it goes a little bit faster for smaller kids so the parents gotta hold their hand to make sure they don’t walk around.”

There is safety in numbers with the inaugural crowds but once they are gone, riders will be eyes and ears for safety along with cameras and station staff.

They are urged to report trouble to staff, on emergency call boxes, or by calling 911 on smart phones.

Meanwhile, parking is an issue.

Like most stations, the last stop at Kroc Center has no parking, but riders this weekend created an illegal and unsafe parking lot on the Kualakai Parkway bike path. Just two stops over, at the Hoopili station, the huge park-n-ride was nearly empty. The next tip is plan for parking. It’s free all day, even when rides are not.

The final tip is to use a transit app, such as Transitapp.com, or Apple or Google Maps to find the best connections between the rail system and connecting bus routes.

For bicycles, city buses have racks on the front and drivers are patient while riders access their bikes.