With the Kanu Energy Challenge around the corner, I have determined that I will achieve a 25 percent reduction in my energy usage, including transportation. Being so used to driving and having the freedom of going wherever, whenever, I know that my car is going to be hard to give up. Being that I just moved to a new area and am not familiar with where the bus stops are and when the buses typically come, I have my fears the buses will not fit my work schedule and morning meetings, which I fear might be too costly of a sacrifice to make. Fortunately, in my search to make riding the bus my new habit, I discovered some excellent tools to help ease my transition into using public transportation.
Not sure where the nearest bus stop is located?
Google Transit provides step-by-step directions to help you locate transit stops near you. Google maps are tied into the bus map and it is also tied into its schedule. That way, it can tell you exactly when to be a certain bus stop.
Not sure when the bus will show up when you arrive at the bus stop?
TheBus HEA has long been a bus rider’s dream. It gives riders the exact location of their desired bus on its route and informs riders if the bus is actually coming, or whether it has broken down. “Hea”, which means “where” in Hawaiian, now provides real-time bus arrival information to let you know where your bus is relative to you, at all times!
Willing to catch the bus if you didn’t have to walk to the stop?
“Park and Ride”
There are “park [your car] and ride” facilities in Hawaii Kai, Mililani, Royal Kunia, Wahiawa, and Haleiwa with ample amounts of parking stalls specifically reserved for bus patrons who drive to the facility, leave their car during the day and catch TheBus. For more information on where these locations are and which bus routes are served, check the link below:
Using the Bike Rack on Buses
All buses are now equipped with bike racks to hold single seat, two-wheeled bikes of standard size. For more info on bike specifications and how to load and unload your bike onto the bus racks, here’s a “how to use the bike rack” powerpoint:
Need an incentive to ride the bus?
TheBus Driving Cost Calculator
Visit this TheBus website to determine what your annual $$ savings would be if you purchased a yearly adult pass ($660) compared to what you pay for monthly parking at work, your daily mileage, and the current cost of gasoline.
Need to know how much bus fare is now and where to buy passes?
Quick Info on TheBus
Adult One-Way Fares: $2.50 [Note: TheBus does not give change, so bring loose change!]
Monthly Adult Pass: $60.00
Annual Adult Pass: $660.00
Monthly Pass Sales Locations: TheBus Pass Office, Foodland Stores, 7-Eleven Stores, Satellite City Hall, UH Manoa Campus Center, HPU Bookstore, and Times. Check craigslist too!
So with this information on-hand, I’ve dared myself to take TheBus and you know what I found out?
• The bus stop is a 3 minute walk from my place. TheBus comes promptly at 6:45 am, right around when I’d drive into work. Buses come every 5-7 minutes, if I happen to miss the 6:45 am bus.
• Although I spend an extra 10 minutes on the road per way, I get to enjoy my morning coffee in a rather empty, clean, and air-conditioned bus without having to worry that I’ll spill hot coffee on my lap stick-shifting my way through traffic.
• I also find that I save nearly those same 10 minutes of time by not having to park my car in the garage downtown and by not having to walk 2 blocks from the lot to my office, as the bus stop is right across the street from the building I work in.
• And here’s the best part of it all to me. By not driving to work and taking the bus in the morning and afternoon every day (yearly adult bus pass being only $660), I can save over $2500 per year!
Not only can I practically reduce my fuel use this way, but this gives me the flexibility to spend my money on things other than oil!
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