Whether child can ride is up to bus driver
: What is the minimum age requirement to ride the city bus alone?
Answer: There is no minimum age set by law to ride TheBus independently, according to Oahu Transit Services, which operates TheBus for the city.
That being the case, bus drivers are allowed to make their own assessments as to whether a child should be allowed to board.
In Chapter 13 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, which deals with public transit, age is referred to only in connection with bus fares. For fare purposes, a child is allowed to ride free when accompanied by an adult or older sibling, said spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy.
A child is defined as "any infant through the age of five accompanied by a passenger other than another child. If not so accompanied, any infant through the age of five shall be deemed a 'youth.'"
The unaccompanied child would then have to pay the youth fare.
"Bus operators are asked to use good judgment if a young child riding TheBus appears too young to ride independently," Kennedy said. "The driver will question the child to see if the child is lost or disoriented."
If so, the driver will call the TheBus' central office, which will then send a supervisor and police officer to meet the bus. If the child knows their phone number, every attempt will be made to contact the parents, Kennedy said.
However, generally speaking, if the child can comprehend bus signs, knows where he or she is going and can pay for the ride, the child will be allowed to ride the bus.
Kennedy says it's rare to find a young child traveling alone, so Oahu Transit Services doesn't have any kind of statistics.
"Young children boarding the bus are usually going to and from school, and many travel in groups, with parents or with older siblings," she explained.
Q: My husband and I wonder, after they've repaired Kalanianaole Highway in the Niu Valley area, are they going to leave that sewer line above ground? The work appears done.
A: That sewer line is temporary, but it'll be there for at least the next three years.
The city plans to replace the existing, badly corroded, underground sewer line, which ruptured three times in February, with a permanent -- underground -- line at a cost of $10 million.
But construction on the underground line is not expected to start until next summer at the earliest, said Eric Takamura, director of the city Department of Environmental Services.
The first phase of the project, which cost about $1 million, involved building the above-ground bypass line. That work was completed in August, he said.
The city is putting together a "design/build package" in preparation for hiring a contractor to design and build the replacement underground line.
You might see surveyors and drill rigs in the area in the next year, but heavy construction won't be taking place for a while. It will then take two to three years to build the new line.
See the Columnists
section for some past articles.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com