Pali bus service ends today


POSTED: Sunday, October 11, 2009

”;Back in the Day,”; appearing every Sunday, takes a look at articles that ran on this date in history in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii's oldest continuously published daily newspaper. The items appear verbatim, so don't blame us today for yesteryear's bad grammar.

The Pali Bus Company makes its last Honolulu-Kailua trip today after running a near-empty bus the past month — ending hopes of a Windward express service in the near future.

“;The Kailua people will never get a good bus service over there ... as long as we have to compete with door-to-door jitneys that cost 75 cents,”; an official of Honolulu Rapid Transit Company said.

Pali Bus is a subsidiary of Wahiawa Transport System, owned by H.R.T.

The Swing over the Pali began in early September on a temporary certificate, charging adults 60 cents and children 30 cents.

“;We started with a smaller fare than the jitneys and no doubt it would have been lowered, if the volume of passengers that should have been generated had ridden,”; the spokesman said.

“;We had hopes it would be the beginning of six, seven even 10 buses a day,”; he said.

“;If this panned out, we even had dreams of extending the service to Kaneohe Air Naval Station.

“;If we could tie Kaneohe Station and Kailua together, if it wasn't for the jitney deal, why then an operator could in a year get to where he could break even, or operate at a little profit.”;

But he said two companies (the first was Leeward Transit) “;have tried it now and failed, even with good equipment.”;

He said the Pali bus averaged about $6.25 a day in fares — but cost the company $32.50 a day to operate across some 50 miles.

As a result, the Public Utilities Commission authorized the company to end the service.

“;People over there (in Kailua) are always asking H.R.T. officials why in the world big people like you don't operate a Kailua-Honolulu service,”; the spokesman said.