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September 23, 2004







            The driver license sub-station in Kaneohe, located within the Kaneohe Police Station, will not reopen when renovations to the building are completed next month.


            Concerns over public safety, parking  and staffing have plagued the Kaneohe driver sub-station for years, said Carol Costa, director, Department of Customer Services (CSD).


"The decision not to reopen was a hard one and was carefully considered," said Costa.  "Safety was the primary concern and customer service also played a large role.  Our staff, HPD and the community have become increasingly concerned about applicants beginning their road tests by turning into traffic across from Benjamin Parker Elementary School. 


“This is especially hazardous in the afternoon during heavy traffic as parents arrive to pick up students.  At the same time, children darting across the street add to the already stressful situation faced by applicants and our examiners.  This has been reflected in the high failure rate at the beginning of the road test course.


The Kaneohe driver sub-station issued new and duplicate licenses, renewals and gave road tests.


Windward residents actually had two sites where they could renew their driver license or get a duplicate, Costa said. The Windward Mall Satellite, which is open six days a week, has been offering these driver services since it opened in June of 2000.


            Since the closure of the Kaneohe driver sub-station for building renovations, the Windward Mall Satellite has had a 96% increase in renewals/duplicates, which shows us that the public is now using the nearby satellite. The Kaneohe road test staff has moved to the main driver license station at City Square on Dillingham Boulevard. Staff has also been added at Windward Mall Satellite.


CSD’s other driver license stations are at City Square on Dillingham Boulevard (main station), Pearl City, Kapolei, Waianae and Wahiawa.


            "Customer service was also a consideration in our decision not to reopen,” Costa said.  “Kaneohe was staffed at 60 percent when we closed for renovation.  We relocated most of our staff to City Square, a 15-minute drive from Kaneohe.  We found that productivity increased and we were able to provide both a safer road test course and better parking for our patrons.”


            Costa also added that drivers usually take only one road test when they first begin driving. Going to the closest road test site is not always a factor. New drivers often go to where they think the “easiest” road test is given. She also noted that driver renewals are now needed only every six years.


            The space formerly occupied by the driver licensing operation will be used by the Honolulu Police Department to relieve cramped conditions at the Kaneohe station.  The change will free more of the limited parking spaces in the police station's lower parking lot for people who visit the Police Station, the Kaneohe Library and the adjacent City park. 



Friday, September 24, 2004

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