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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Council expected to raise bus fares

 •  New user fees rejected by council

By Treena Shapiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

The City Council, looking for ways to balance the budget, is expected to approve an increase in bus fares beginning July 1 for all passengers except children, senior citizens and the disabled.

Bus riders would pay more for single fares as well as bus passes under the budget proposal, which would bring in $4.27 million, according to council projections.

Single fares would go up to $1.75 from $1.50, while monthly passes would rise to $30 from $27 and annual passes to $360 from $300. Tourists' four-day passes would jump to $20 from $15.

The increases, which were announced yesterday by City Council Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi, are included in the council's budget draft. Kobayashi said she expects approval when council members vote on the budget June 4. "I ran around and told them all and nobody seemed to disagree," Kobayashi said.

Kobayashi and the council have been looking for ways to cut the $1.178 billion budget proposal submitted by Mayor Jeremy Harris.

In its budget proposal, the city administration has proposed increasing the price of an adult bus pass only as a way to comply with a law that requires the city to recapture at least 27 percent of the cost of providing bus service.

Kobayashi pointed out that even with the proposed hikes, the city still will have to significantly subsidize bus service. Without raising fares, the city could be faced with trimming bus and HandiVan service, she said.