City to crack down on bus riders using bags to save spots in line

City to crack down on bus riders using bags to save spots in line
Published: Nov. 11, 2015 at 2:36 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2015 at 8:49 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is planning to crack down on some bus riders who leave items on the sidewalk at the Alapai Transit Center to reserve their spot in line.

"I've seen pens, pencils, books, coins," said Carol Suan, a bus rider who lives in Waianae.

Several people said they used line markers to avoid standing under the hot sun since the roof of the bus shelter doesn't offer protection in the late afternoon. Others carry an umbrella for shade.

"If we're standing in line and everybody has their umbrellas open, people get poked because there's not enough room," Suan said.

There are different lines of bags and other items for various routes. The problem came to the attention of city officials a couple of months ago after complaints from riders on Route 93 which is the Waianae Coast Express.

There are signs at the transit center warning people that line markers are not allowed. The city Department of Transportation Services planned to move the route's starting point over to Alapai Street to deal with safety concerns, but officials announced Tuesday that the route would remain unchanged.

"We understand the sun issues here at the transit center. We'll see if we can work with the community to make it better, but putting something down on the pavement is a safety hazard to all of our transit riders that are visually impaired or blind," said Michael Formby, the director of the Department of Transportation Services.

"I wonder what other solutions the city can come up with, as far maybe another #93, maybe there needs to be one at the 15 and 30 and 45 as opposed to every half an hour, maybe the bus shelter being a little bit larger," said State Rep. Andria Tupola (R-Maili, Nanakuli, Ewa).

Formby said since the transit center is the first stop on the route, the riders there are able to get a seat and that those who use markers are trying to secure a specific spot.

"I think it's a bad situation that we have, but I think there's other things they could do. There needs to be some kind of lining for people to get ready to board the buses," said Suan.

Formby said the construction of the three-story Traffic Management Center nearby may offer some late afternoon relief from the sun during winter months.

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