Riders needing help can ask bus be lowered
Auwe to the few city bus operators who refuse to lower the height of the front of the bus so seniors and the disabled can board and alight with ease. These same healthy drivers then lower the front for themselves when they use the restroom. Aren't they paid to serve the public?
Answer: If a passenger asks that a bus be lowered, drivers are supposed to comply with the request, said Michelle Kennedy, spokeswoman for Oahu Transit Services, which operates the city's bus system.
Drivers may use their discretion as to lowering the bus, Kennedy said, noting all drivers have received training on serving the needs of elderly and disabled passengers. "We do not automatically lower the bus at all stops."
Kennedy said that if a driver sees someone that might need aid, or if there is a crowd of people at a bus stop, the driver will lower the bus to ensure that anyone who needs assistance receives it.
However, "there may be instances where the person boarding or alighting does not appear to need the bus lowered and the bus operator may not lower the bus," she said. In cases like this, the passenger should ask the driver to do so.
Kennedy points out some riders have actually complained when a driver lowered the bus, offended because they felt they were not in need of any assistance.
If a driver refuses to lower a bus upon request, Kennedy said a complaint should be filed with Oahu Transit Services' Customer Service office by calling 848-4500 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday except holidays.
Complaints also can be filed online at www.thebus.org; click on "customer comments" and fill out the online comment form.
"We would need to know what happened, date and time of when it happened, location, bus number and/or bus operator name," Kennedy said.
To the city bus driver who ran a red light at 5:43 a.m. Wednesday, July 25, at Kamehameha Highway and Hekaha Street. I was just about stopped at the intersection because of the red light when out of nowhere this bus buzzed past me. The light was red when the bus went through the intersection, putting his passengers and others in danger. Shame on you! -- RC from Waipahu
We passed the bus and route numbers you provided to Oahu Transit Services.
"We appreciate having the public make us aware of unsafe driving by our operators," Kennedy said. "We stress safety in all of our training and our rules."
If anyone witnesses unsafe driving, she said to provide details on what happened, the date and time of when it happened, location, direction and bus number. Call the Customer Service Office at 848-4500 or go online at www.thebus.org.
"In addition to complaints, we also welcome hearing suggestions and commendations," Kennedy said.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers