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Letters to the Editor may be sent to: Honolulu Magazine, P.O. Box 913, Honolulu, HI, 96808-0913, faxed: 537-6455 or e-mailed: letters_honmag@pacificbasin.net

"BRT: THE CITY'S $50-MILLION MISTAKE," DECEMBER 2004
Associate Editor Ronna Bolante's article on the city's failed Bus Rapid Transit.

It is sad that a non-bus-riding person writes an article about TheBus which is a polemic. From the title, the reader knows where it is going! It seems Bolante researched in the "Cliff Slater disinformation database" to come up with some real zingers.

Saying that 7 percent of Island commuters take the bus is just plain wrong! Ridership on TheBus is about 250,000 every day of the week, which is 30 percent of the total population of the island, and provably 40-percent-plus of those who go anywhere on any given day.

Claiming a 2,000,000 ridership decline is using figures for 2003 when the bus operators stupidly went on strike and impacted ridership for those weeks of the walkout and for months afterward. As a bus patron exclusively, I do not own an automobile, I believe ridership is nearly back to (if not exceeding) pre-strike levels.

Dismissing the City's new hybrid transit buses is just plain mean spirited. These are using less fuel and polluting less, which is something desperately needed throughout the world. To imply they cost too much is just poor journalism.

The new Route E is a needed way to get to/from downtown and Waikïkï. Try it, you might like it!

Prof. Willis H.A. Moore,
Hawai'i Geographic Society, Honolulu

Editor's reply: By way of explanation, for the decline in bus ridership, we used figures provided by the City and County of Honolulu and published in The Hawai'i State Data Book 2003. These show a decline from 75,557,318 passengers in 1993 to 73,524,474 in 2002. We specifically excluded the anomolous strike year of 2003. Our figures for commuters who use TheBus comes from the U.S. Census Bureau. It finds that just 33,207 of O'ahu's 412,250 workers age 16 years and over ride TheBus to work. TheBus's annual ridership no doubt includes large numbers of students, tourists and retirees.

AHANA Ko-Ko- LELE

Text disappeared between pages of "World Beat," November 2004. The full sentence from page 128 reads, "For example, the entire roof is a water collection system, gathering the frequent Mänoa rains into a 1,500-gallon rainwater catchment tank tucked under the home's long länai."

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