Plan is key to stay
out of road jam

With colleges back in session
soon, motorists on Oahu will face
heavier highway commutes

Traffic is already slow going with 63 percent of public schools already in session on a year-round schedule, but state transportation officials say it's going to get worse.

Driving alternatives

>> Along with regular city bus service, TheBus offers express service during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Information: 848-5555 or
>> Vanpool Hawaii offers vehicles to groups of four or more for their shared commute. The cost starts at $55 per person per month. Information: 596-VANS or
>> The Leeward Oahu Transportation Management Association organizes carpools for commuters traveling from Central/Leeward Oahu to downtown Honolulu or Waikiki. Information: 677-RIDE or

For more information about carpooling, contact the Transportation Department's traffic engineer at 692-7670.

Source: State Department of Transportation

That's because more than 40,000 University of Hawaii and community college students begin classes Aug. 23.

"Because public schools are in their own districts, the traffic right now from the year-round schools is mostly on local roads," said Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa. "But the biggest problem will be when universities and private schools start up again."

The many ongoing islandwide roadwork projects are not expected to intensify the traffic congestion because most of them are being done at night, Ishikawa said. The Moanalua Freeway resurfacing and the H-1 freeway widening projects will be suspended for two weeks starting Aug. 23 to give motorists a chance to acclimate to increased traffic, he said.

Ishikawa suggests that motorists plan for the jam by allowing extra commute time and making sure that their vehicles are in good working order. Motorists are advised to keep their gas tanks full and their tires properly inflated.

"For every minute a car is stalled on the freeway, it causes about 10 minutes of traffic backlog," he said.

The Transportation Department also recommends that people consider giving up their cars altogether.

"We are suggesting that people carpool, take the bus, walk, bike -- anything that will mean fewer cars on the roads," Ishikawa said.

In a recent report published by the U.S. Census Bureau, Hawaii ranks first in the nation in carpooling, with 19 percent of the working population opting to buddy up for the commute to work, a trend that transportation officials hope will continue as traffic congestion persists.

Other recommended transportation alternatives include signing up students for public or private school buses, and sharing a ride with a neighbor or friend, which allows motorists to use the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) and zipper lanes.

State Department of Transportation


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --