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Honolulu bills to hike public transport fares

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu City Council has introduced two bills that would increase fares for public transportation.

Bill 89, introduced Thursday, would set up a fare structure for the city bus and the rail system and increases fares almost across the board. Bill 87 was introduced the same day and would increase fares for the city’s paratransit services.

Both bills were introduced by City Council Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi after the Honolulu Rate Commission finished its deliberations for fare schedules. The commission sent its recommendation for a fare increase for paratransit services to Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Kobayashi and the Department of Transportation Services on Oct. 21, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Bill 89 would take effect in July 2021 and would increase adult single rides to $3, monthly passes to $80 and annual passes to $880. Currently for adults, single rides are $2.50, monthly passes are $70 and annual passes are $770.

Prices for those ages 6 to 17 and high school students who are 18 or 19 years old would increase to $1.50 per single ride, $40 monthly and $440 annually. Current prices for those demographics are $1.25 for a single ride, $35 for a monthly pass and $385 for an annual pass.

Children 5 years old and younger would continue to have free fares. All the new rates fall in line with the commission’s recommendations.

Bill 87 also jibes with the Rate Commission’s recommendations, this one to increase the fare for a one-way Handi-Van trip to $2.25 up from $2. The fare has not increased since 2001.

That bill would be implemented in March 2021 but the date could be extended, Kobayashi said.

Hearings on the bills could be scheduled in a few weeks, Kobayashi said.