Reactions mixed
to end of bus strike

Some complain of the
inconvenience that
the strike caused

Some bus riders said they're happy TheBus will resume service Monday.

Others said they've been frustrated, enduring four weeks of finding other transportation.

"I'm happy," said Kalihi resident Julie Carino, one of many who have depended on the free city van shuttle at Chinatown Gateway Park. "It's hard with no more bus."

Some bus riders at Chinatown Gateway Park who rely on the bus to get to doctors' appointments or buy groceries said they will stay with TheBus.

"They deserve the money. It's hard work what they have to do," said Craig Harris, who recently moved to Honolulu from Michigan with his wife, Ester.

Others said they were frustrated and had to walk for miles or cancel doctors' appointments.

"I think the whole strike has to do with greed on the part of union members," said Papakolea resident David Myers.

He has walked about 12 miles from his home to downtown in search of a job, he said.

"I think they've been getting paid too much money," Myers said.

He said he will return to the bus "just out of necessity."

Japan native Aya Yasutake, who met some friends in Chinatown for lunch yesterday, said, "They should have come back earlier."

Commuters at the Ewa Town Center in Ewa Beach said yesterday they were inconvenienced by the strike.

Marcelina Reyes, 77, said she had to cancel doctors' appointments and depended on others to pick up her prescriptions. Reyes said she also has relied on friends for rides to the grocery store.

Reyes, an Ewa resident, said she reluctantly plans to take the bus once service resumes.

"What else can I do?" she asked.

Reyes, who lives on a fixed income at a public senior housing project, said that she and many of her friends disapprove of the hike in daily bus fares and annual passes for senior citizens. The increases were adopted this week by the City Council.

"I'm not in favor of the bus fares," she said.

Ewa Beach resident Nicky Baquial said she has relied on family and friends to get from place to place. The bus strike had curbed her plans to attend nurse's aide classes at the American Red Cross-Hawaii Chapter at Diamond Head, Baquial said.

Another Ewa Beach resident questioned why the bus strike took four weeks to come to a tentative settlement between the Teamsters and management at Oahu Transit Services Inc.

"It's a give and take," said Ryan Pagan. "This could've been settled before they went on strike."

Though Pagan said he believed the strike could have been avoided, he said bus riders may gain an appreciation for bus drivers.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --