Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Monday, July 10, 2000

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Riders board the ferry this morning in Waipahu across
from Makalena Golf Course. The commute includes a
shuttle bus between town and port, and riders can
park at a guarded, Middle Loch lot which opens
at 6:20 a.m.

Ferry commute
is a breeze

15 people climb aboard this
morning's initial Wikiwiki ride
from Middle Loch to Aloha Tower

DOT: Drivers understanding about H-1 work
Kalanianaole work starts

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


For David Arashiro of Ewa, it's a no-brainer why he chose to be among the first 15 passengers on the Waipahu-to-Honolulu run of the state Transportation Department's 136-passenger Wikiwiki Ferry this morning.

"The ride here is much more comfortable," said Arashiro, who drove his car to the Middle Loch terminal just behind Waipahu High School.

The Central Pacific Bank executive prefers taking TheBus or the ferry to battling traffic on the H-1 freeway.

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
The Waipahu-Honolulu run is Part 2 of the
Wikiwiki ferry's demonstration.

Like others, he wondered why more people didn't take advantage of the ferry ride -- temporarily free -- and urged the operator and transportation officials to give the program more publicity.

Rides will be free through the end of the ferry's Middle Loch run on Aug. 4. On Aug. 7, the ferry will begin leaving from Iroquois Point. Rides will be free for the first two weeks of that run; after that, it will cost $3 round trip. (TheBus transfers and passes are honored, so those passengers get to ride for 50 cents, one way.)

The state will evaluate the demonstration project after it ends on Sept. 22.

Arashiro is a veteran of the Wikiwiki service, opting for the ferry when it began its one-year trial from Kalaeloa to Aloha Tower last October. The ferry service was halted temporarily when the state decided to switch to the Middle Loch site instead of Kalaeloa and to do maintenance work.

Arashiro prefers the 6:30 a.m. departure from Middle Loch, because it gets him to Aloha Tower at 7:30 a.m., just in time for work at 8 a.m. The Kalaeloa run left at 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Another ferry veteran, Heather Hutchinson of Waikele, works at a downtown law firm. During this morning's ride, she caught up with crew members she had befriended earlier.

"I love it, it beats driving in traffic," Hutchinson said, taking in the cushiony seats and spacious leg room around her. "I can pay my bills or take a nap."

Waikele resident Marylee Ruth, who usually takes a city express bus to work, was among those checking out the ferry for the first time.

"I'll try it out and see how it goes,"she said. Ruth said the one-hour ride was fairly smooth,although she gave up reading a book midway through the trip.

Ruth, an audiologist, was one of only three passengers who took advantage of the shuttle bus that picked up passengers from key Waipahu-area bus stops and dropped them off at Middle Loch.

At the downtown end, another shuttle dropped ferry riders off along selected points from Alakea to Alapai streets.

Passengers can also leave their cars in a guarded lot at Middle Loch that opens at 6:20 a.m. An afternoon ferry leaves Aloha Tower at 5:15 p.m. and the bus shuttles do a reverse routine.

Normally, Ewa Beach resident Fernando Jovero drives into town with his wife and children. But today, he decided he'd try something different. "I'm 33, I have high cholesterol and I figured I might as well bike it," he said.

He rode his bike to Middle Loch, caught the ferry, then bicycled off to his job as an orthopedic technician in the Punahou area, after docking at Aloha Tower.

Some 300 to 400 passengers took the hydrofoil daily when it began its first run in October, but those numbers dropped substantially when a $3 round-trip fare was instituted.

Eric Schiff of Navatek Ships Ltd., which operates the ferry as part of contractor Pacific Marine and Supply Co., attributed today's low numbers to the break in service at the end of the Kalaeloa run.

He expects to gain back some of those riders in the coming days.

Drivers devise ways
to avoid H-1 snarls

People have been understanding
about H-1 work, the DOT says

By Leila Fujimori


Many drivers are adapting to lane and ramp closures on the H-1 freeway by changing their routines.

When Luz Baldauf of Waipahu got off work about 4:30 p.m. yesterday, she saw "lots of traffic, so I'm not going that way."

To ensure getting home in time to attend a party, Baldauf decided to go around construction by heading from Wilder Avenue to Kapiolani Boulevard.

Rudolph Salvador didn't want to go out yesterday but decided to make the trip to Home Depot, using the H-1, anyway. "I've seen so many accidents just before the Punahou offramp," the Dole Street resident said.

Salvador blames lane closures for the traffic and noted traffic was bad due to a lane closure before University Avenue.

But Steven Aragona found "traffic pretty stable" while he was riding his motorcycle around the island with three friends.

The state Department of Transportation has received 81 calls in the last two weeks since beginning heavy construction and resurfacing on the H-1.

"The majority of them had to do with traffic routes, times and things opened or closed," said Department of Transportation spokeswoman Marilyn Kali.

She said only a couple of complaints came in. One person wanted an alternate route with the same commute time, but none could be found, she said.

Another motorist complained that he didn't know how to access the entrance to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children since Bingham Street fronting the facility has been closed.

The department improved the detour signs.

"People have been real understanding," Kali said.

Nuuanu resident Michael Lee is one of them. Although he is inconvenienced, he says what is being done needs to be done.

"But I think it sucks for tourists."

 | | |

work starts

Star-Bulletin staff

Work began this morning on what is expected to be a two-year repair project aimed at upgrading not only Kalanianaole Highway, but also utility lines along the Hawaii Kai-to-downtown corridor.

Work will be done between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to minimize disruption of rush-hour traffic.

Although not on the same scale as the massive $86 million project that widened the highway in the early 1990s, the repair project still is expected to cause major traffic snags.

Problems are expected in front of Kalani High School, where the two right-hand lanes will be coned off.

The school's summer session continues through July 17, with classes ending at 1:30 p.m. each day.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin