Charter bus services West, Central Oahu
Can you help me find out more about a charter bus I see leaving the Mililani Park & Ride every weekday morning? It's a Polynesian Adventure Tours bus. Pickup is around 6:15 a.m., and it goes somewhere near downtown. Can you lead me in the right direction to finding about more about this charter bus -- if anyone can join, how much it costs, what the pickup times are, the places it stops to/from Mililani, etc.? I wouldn't mind trying to take this bus to work, since the city bus doesn't go directly to where I want to go.
Answer: With gas prices continuing to climb, the charter bus you've observed is a transportation option for Central and Leeward Oahu commuters.
The commuter express service is offered by Leeward Oahu Transportation Management Association, a private, nonprofit organization.
It's made up of 11 public and private landowners and developers working together "to deal with transportation issues, to try to improve traffic congestion and encourage ride-sharing" in Central and Leeward Oahu, a spokeswoman said.
"Our most concrete service is the commuter express," she said. LOTMA also offers free carpool matching services, as well as an emergency ride-home program.
LOTMA has one express bus in service, which is able to carry a maximum 57 passengers.
The Polynesian Adventure Tours "luxury coach" picks up passengers from the Waipio Gentry Shopping Center (6:05 a.m.) and Mililani Park & Ride (6:15 a.m.) weekday mornings.
Passengers are dropped off at nine locations: Nimitz-Pier 35, Dole Cannery, King and Bishop streets; King and Richards; Punchbowl and King; the federal building (Punchbowl and Halekauwila); and the Sheraton-Waikiki Hotel. Stops also are made at Ala Moana Hotel and Hale Koa Hotel, if requested.
In the afternoons, the bus picks up passengers beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Sheraton-Waikiki, with stops at Queen and Mililani streets; Queen and Fort; Dole Cannery; and the bus stop fronting the New Eagle Cafe on Nimitz Highway, taking them back nonstop to the shopping center and Park & Ride. Pickups also will be made at the Ala Moana Hotel, if requested.
The commuter express operates only on weekdays and not on most holidays.
Monthly passes are $95; a 20-trip monthly pass is $55; and a one-way walk-on ticket is $3.50 (payable by check only).
LOTMA fares are subsidized by Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii and the Gentry Co s.
The spokeswoman cautioned that walk-ons are allowed, but are not guaranteed a seat.
In recent weeks, five new riders have signed on, she said.
LOTMA officials are thinking about expanding the service in the next few months, but no decision has yet been made.
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
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