5 Important Laws That Go into Effect in 2018 That You Should Know About

A new year means a new set of laws. Here’s a roundup of some of the major city laws (and one state law) that will go into effect in the New Year.
The Bus Hawaii
Photo: David Croxford


Bus fare increases

Many bus riders will face fare increases beginning Jan. 1. The city has defended the move, noting that riders have not seen sweeping fare raises in several years. Here are some of the major changes:


  • Adult one-way: $2.75 (up from $2.50)

  • Adult monthly pass: $70 (up from $60)

  • Adult annual pass: $770 (up from $660)

  • Youth annual pass: $385 (up from $330)


For a list of all of the changes, click here.


Vehicle weight tax hike

New Hawaii laws 2018
Photo: Thinkstock

O‘ahu drivers will see an increase of 1 cent per pound on the vehicle weight taxes, which is part of their annual registration fee, starting Jan. 1. The hike changes the tax for passenger vehicles to 6 cents per pound and to 6.5 cents for commercial vehicles.


Nonreusable bag fees

In an effort to reduce littering and increase sustainability, businesses will begin to charge a mandatory 15 cents for each thicker plastic and paper bag starting July 1. The new law also calls for phasing out all thicker plastic bags in 2020.


Defibrillators in new and city buildings

You should start to see more automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, popping up in larger new buildings and all city buildings on Jan. 1. (New buildings with an occupancy of 50 or more fall under this law.) At least one AED must be placed on each floor. The ordinance is intended to help save more lives by having the devices accessible to the public.


State minimum wage raise

Hawai‘i’s minimum wage will again increase on Jan. 1, to $10.10 per hour. The law, signed by then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie in 2014, has incrementally raised the state’s minimum wage from $7.75 per hour in 2015 to $9.25 last year.