Cars park at the Alapai bus terminal, one of several sites the city has opened for free parking since the bus strike began.

Commuters praise
free parking

The city has opened eight
sites to alleviate the cost and
strain of finding parking

During the first two weeks of the bus strike, Lusitana Street resident Jeanelyn Crisostomo walked 45 minutes to her job at Straub Clinic & Hospital.

She couldn't afford $6 to $7 a day in parking fees.

But that's changed since a co-worker told the nurse's aide about free parking from the city at the Alapai bus terminal two blocks from the hospital.

"It's great," she said.

Some commuters -- from Ewa Beach to Hawaii Kai -- who relied on the bus to get to work have commended the city for providing free parking space at seven sites and alleviating the cost and strain of finding a place to park.

The city Department of Transportation Services has provided free parking at Kamamalu Park, Alapai bus terminal, Mother Waldron Park, Ala Moana Beach Park, Foster Botanical Garden, Waikiki Shell and Keehi Lagoon. Parking also is available at Blaisdell Center for $5 a day.


Friends, co-workers and supervisors spread word of the free parking to those working in the downtown area as the bus strike continued.

"They're thrilled to have this extra parking," said city spokeswoman Carol Costa. "Many of them can't get parking in downtown. ... We're happy to give them a place to park."

Costa said the Alapai bus terminal and Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako have been heavily used by commuters. In contrast, Kamamalu Park, across Queen Emma Street from Royal School, has remained empty since the strike. Costa speculated that commuters may not be aware that Kamamalu has been opened as a free parking site.

Some commuters also said they have been leaving their homes earlier to ensure that they get a parking space at one of the sites.

Mililani resident Jason Morioka, a network support technician at the state Information Computer Support Division, said he carpools with co-workers who take turns driving to work.

Of the bus strike, Morioka said, "Somebody's gotta give somewhere. ... You have to consider the whole picture."

Some motorists who normally drove to work before the strike have also been taking advantage of the free parking.

"It's convenient," said Lora Fossorier, a civil engineer at the city Department of Design and Construction at the Honolulu Municipal Building, at Alapai and King streets.

Fossorier, a Hawaii Kai resident, said she had paid for a monthly pass at the Blaisdell Center but prefers to park at the Alapai bus terminal because it's closer to work.

"The location is great for us," Fossorier said.


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