Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Monday, March 14, 2005

Discount bus passes
draw 20 applicants

Question: What is the status of the discount bus pass program provision specified by the City Council in September 2003?

Answer: Rules for the "Bus Pass Subsidy" program took effect Nov. 22, and the city began implementing the program on Jan. 1.

Applications for the $30 adult monthly passes and $13.50 youth monthly passes are available at all satellite city halls or on the city's Web site: www.honolulu.gov/dts/buspasssubsidy.htm.

Call the city Department of Transportation Services at 527-6651, 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, for information.

The program was set to take effect last year when a major hitch was discovered.

As we reported in the Oct. 5 "Kokua Line," the rules, as written back then, unintentionally would have allowed thousands of college students to qualify for the discount passes. The program was meant to help low-income families, not college kids, city officials said.

The passes are for people in households with "extremely low income," which is established as 30 percent of the median family income as published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Transportation Department has median family income tables available, or they can be downloaded from the HUD Web site: www.huduser.org/datasets/il.html.

So, far only 20 applications for the discount bus passes have been received, according to James Burke, chief of the Public Transit Division.

The city Department of Community Services is doing the screening of applicants.

"Right now it's too early to tell how many people would qualify," Burke said.

Q: I've called the city building department on three different occasions regarding property on Puoni Place. The people who live there have junk all over the yard. There is rubbish in the street. You cannot walk down the street in front of the property. I was told by the city, "Oh, we're working on it, we're working with them, the police are working with them." But I don't see any progress when I go by that way. Can you help do something about this situation? It's obvious no one is doing anything.

A: The city has issued a citation to the owner and ordered him to clean up the property by the end of March, said Russell Kaneshiro, chief of the city's Housing Code Section.

If the deadline is not met, the owner could be slapped with civil fines.


To Frank Leong, wife Anne Krikowski and son Daniel Leong, who came to our aid when our car broke down late Sunday night, March 6, in the parking lot of the Costco gas station on Alakawa Road. Costco was closed, and there was no place we could go to for help. They offered to drive us all the way back to Kaimuki even though they lived downtown. We were just so touched by their kindness and their willingness to share their gasoline and their good spirits with us. We are very appreciative of everything they did. -- Marsha and Michael


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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