Pass the time easily -- holoholo on TheBoat
On Monday, I got off TheBoat
from Kalaeloa Harbor to Aloha Tower, walked to my office on Nuuanu Avenue and was ready to work! An hour ride. No wondering what time I would arrive in town, no need to watch and hear the morning news for road hazards or accidents, and no need to check that my gas tank was full: No traffic stress!
I boarded TheBoat with news cameras, newspaper reporters, city officials and, most important, smiling and anxious commuters like me. Here was another opportunity to help West Oahu alleviate our traffic woes, thanks to Mayor Mufi Hannemann. His partnership with our congressional delegation, who got the federal grant for us, the state with the harbor concessions, businesses like DR Horton, who is providing wireless connectivity for all riders through Sprint, and TheBus to move folks quickly to their final destinations are all the right ingredients to make this project succeed.
TheBoat operates Monday through Friday from Kalaeloa Harbor to Aloha Tower, with three rides in each direction. TheBus connects riders from Makakilo, Kapolei and Waianae to Kalaeloa Harbor. Then, once TheBoat arrives in town, TheBus takes riders from Aloha Tower to the University of Hawaii, Waikiki and Ala Moana Shopping Center.
The first 15 minutes was fun, a little like an amusement park ride, but I forgot about it as I chatted with new friends I met on the spacious, comfortable, air-conditioned ferry. We laughed together, shared our horror traffic stories and called our families to let them know we were the ferry pioneers and that our cell phones worked just fine. The west side commuters I sat with were from Waianae, Kapolei and Ewa Beach. We came by TheBus, parked our cars off-site and by getting a ride to the ferry terminal.
The hour seemed to pass quickly. We sailed smoothly into Honolulu Harbor, saw the sun rise against the glistening waves and knew that soon the skyscrapers would be filled with workers bustling about downtown. And we saw that the proud and majestic Diamond Head, which greets our mainland visitors as they fly overhead, was now sending us her aloha.
Transportation remedies include a number of options and opportunities to fulfill the needs of as many west side residents as possible; may it be transit, additional buses, building new roads and improvements to the aging infrastructure or using TheBoat.
Lucky you live Kapolei, lucky you live Hawaii!
Maeda Timson is a member of the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board.