State plans stalled-car
service on freeways

The program is aimed
at relieving logjams
during rush hour

By Leila Fujimori

You're inching along in freeway rush-hour traffic, and a car stalls in front of you.

Enter the freeway service patrol, waiting to whisk the car out of the way.

A dream?

No, the state Department of Transportation plans to have the service available on the H-1, H-2, H-3 and Moanalua freeways by the end of next year.

The service is designed to assist in clearing the freeway as soon as possible to minimize traffic congestion, said Glenn Yasui, state highways administrator.

In the event of an accident, the patrol will also set up flares, cones and signs to provide safety measures.

Yasui anticipated the cost of the service for an initial two-year period to run between $2 million and $3 million. The service will be 90 percent federally funded, 10 percent state-funded.

The patrol will provide services from repairing a flat tire, changing tires, providing gas or towing the car or arranging for a commercial tow.

"We're not replacing commercial towing services, like AAA or others," Yasui said. "Our sole purpose is to get disabled vehicles off the freeway ... to avoid congestion. We consider disabled vehicles a hazard."

The DOT does not anticipate charging individuals for assistance.

"It's like if your house burns down, the fire department doesn't charge you for their services," Yasui said.

A nominal fee for gas may be assessed, however.

The patrol will provide 24-hour service, but during peak traffic hours the patrol will be fully manned.

The program is still in the development stage, and details are being worked out.

Yasui said federal funding for the program could continue for a long time. Budgeting for the next two years is now being discussed.

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --