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MAYOR HANNEMANN ANNOUNCES NEW TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FOR UH FOOTBALL FANS AND CITY FERRY PASSENGERS

To assure that University of Hawaii football fans won’t be stranded following a change in federal transportation rules that will impact public bus service, the City has assembled a group of private bus companies that have agreed to help continue the UH Football Express. The City also today announced expanded shuttle bus links with TheBoat commuter ferry.

"I’m very pleased to help UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan and the UH football program," said Mayor Hannemann. "UH football is very much a part of our island life and culture, and we’re glad to assist in any way we can."

The City had operated 10 UH Football Express routes, carrying over 4,000 passengers during the last season. This year, the Federal Transit Administration revised its definition of charter service in a way that placed the UH Football Express in this category. By federal rule, public transit agencies receiving federal funds cannot operate charter service in competition with private bus companies.

Donovan said he is very pleased that UH football fans will still have a transportation option.

"We’re very grateful to Mayor Hannemann for reaching out to help solve this dilemma," said Donovan. "It shows that he is a true champion of UH athletics, and we greatly appreciate his efforts."

Mayor Hannemann commended City Transportation Director Wayne Yoshioka for pulling together private transportation services to fill the void left by the FTA’s ruling.

The private companies involved are: Polynesian Hospitality, Roberts Hawaii, Polynesian Adventure, Enoa Corporation, and Travel Plaza Transportation. These companies will be setting up their own programs and will publish their own announcements of service schedule and rates.

"We appreciate the willingness of these companies to step forward to keep the UH Football Express running so we can all support our UH Warrior Football team," Mayor Hannemann said.

Starting today (Monday, August 25), the City is expanding TheBoat shuttle bus service for West Oahu and Ewa Beach residents. The F11 shuttle will be extended to Makaha Towers; the F12 Makakilo shuttle will expand service to Kapolei Knolls near the golf course; and the F13 shuttle will include service to the community of Kaupe´a in Kapolei.

"We’re very committed to providing transportation alternatives on Oahu," Mayor Hannemann said. "TheBoat is an important part of this vision, and this expanded shuttle service will make this popular alternative even better."

TheBoat is a commuter ferry service the City launched in September of 2007 between Kalaeloa Harbor and Aloha Tower. TheBoat has carried more than 60,000 passengers so far, and July ridership increased by 25 percent over the previous month. More than 7,800 passengers took TheBoat in July.

TheBoat is linked with a network of shuttle buses at each terminal. These shuttles arrive 10 minutes prior to a vessel’s departure, and are waiting when the vessel arrives at the opposite terminal.

Amenities on TheBoat include bathrooms, guaranteed seating, free WiFi (wireless Internet access), and a snack bar. Passengers may also bring their own snacks, and bicycles are welcome aboard.

For more information, go to http://trytheboat.com

Contact: Department of Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka, 768-8303

 

Monday, August 25, 2008

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