City Seeks Comments On Proposed $3 Fare, Free Transfers Between Bus and Rail

Mar 3, 2020

The Honolulu transit fare review body wants to raise the price of a bus ride by 25 cents to $3, but provide free transfers between the rail and bus.

The price for single trip on the rail would also be $3 one way.

That is the proposal from the Honolulu Rate Commission. The advisory committee, created in a 2016 Charter Amendment, annually reviews and recommends changes to fares for the bus, Handi-Van, rail, and city parking meters.

The coming rail service will be integrated with the existing bus system through the use of a common payment system called the HOLO Card.

Current bus fare rates and proposed rates for an integrated bus and rail system.
Credit Courtesy Honolulu Rate Commission

Initially rolled out in 2019, the Rate Commission's proposal would provide potentially significant discounts to HOLO Card users. Bus and rail riders paying with a HOLO Card would be charged a maximum of $7.50 per day and $80 per month.

That works out to 2.5 rides per day or 27 rides in a single month. Any trips taken beyond that amount would essentially be free for HOLO Card users.

The proposal represents an increase from the current price of a bus pass, which runs $5.50 for a daily pass and $70 for a monthly one. However, those rates only include bus service, while the new pricing plan incorporates rail and bus rides.

The rate proposal also includes special discount prices for youth, seniors, and low-income riders, who could pay as little as $1 for a single ride.

With the Honolulu rail transit line scheduled to begin operations as soon as December, the Rate Commission is asking the public for feedback on its fare proposal. It will hold three public meetings over the next week.

Members of the public are invited to appear in person to provide written or verbal comments. Written testimony can also be submitted via email to hchee@honolulu.gov.

The dates, times, and locations of the Rate Commission public meetings are:

  • Tuesday, March 3, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Kapolei Hale, 1000 Uluohia St.
  • Thursday, March 5, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Kailua District Park Community Room, 21 South Kainalu Dr.
  • Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Mission Memorial Building, 550 South King St.