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            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced a new demonstration project designed to determine the feasibility of selling newspapers on commuter express buses.

            The Ride & Read program; a collaboration among the City, Oahu Transit Services, Inc./TheBus and The Honolulu Advertiser, will begin on Monday, December 19, 2005 and run until March 31, 2006.

            During the three-month demonstration, newspaper racks will be installed in 24 commuter express buses from the Kalihi Transit Facility. The racks will be stocked each weekday with the morning edition of the Honolulu Advertiser and placed on buses assigned to Express runs.

            “We are always looking for ways to make riding TheBus more attractive,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “This is just one way to make the morning commute more convenient for our riders without any negative impact to the City budget.”

            “This program incurs no cost to the City or additional work for TheBus staff,” said Alfred Tanaka, acting director of the Department of Transportation Services. “The riders pay the usual 50 cents for their morning paper, have the paper conveniently available on TheBus and The Advertiser staff handles all distribution and cleanup.”

            The program will be evaluated throughout the demonstration period. If the demonstration proves successful, the city will consider making the program a permanent part of express bus operations.  A competitive bid process would then be required to select the vendor. 

            The Advertiser initially approached the City with the Ride & Read program concept.  During the demonstration project, the City will not receive any revenue resulting from the sale of the newspapers. This is not the only relationship TheBus has with a newspaper. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is the current advertising contract holder for TheBus’ FootballExpress! The Star-Bulletin also provides an exchange of services for marketing on TheBus.



             Alfred Tanaka, Transportation Services acting director, 523-4125

Thursday, December 15, 2005

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