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Letter for Thursday, September 7, 2023

Support Kaua‘i Bus

I am writing today in support of more funding for public transportation on Kaua‘i.

I don’t think the Kaua‘i Bus should’ve canceled the Sunday routes, as so many of us that cannot afford a car or don’t really want one depend on public transportation.

I realize there is a staffing shortage, but if Kaua‘i wants to be a leader in how to reduce our carbon footprint this is a travesty.

We are beholden to the rental car companies for one. It also seems the county wants to see more traffic with more cars and as all of us know residents and tourists alike that the infrastructure here is crumbling and all the county wants to do is put a Band-Aid on it.

The bus, I am sure, has seen an uptick in ridership. I have encountered more tourists taking the bus along with school kids having to use it as their mode of transport since there seems to be a lack of school buses too.

Yes, there are homeless folks on the bus, people abusing substances, etc, but that isn’t all of the bus riding population. I am an advocate for public transit having used some of the best in the nation in the Bay Area of California, Denver, Cincinnati, New York City and Washington, D.C., to name a few cities.

This county needs to prioritize the bus drivers and workers. Pay them more, what a monumental responsibility for lives and traffic safety those workers have.

Many of the drivers are true local people that should be supported with the best salary that county can give.

One driver told me it was going to take at least eight new drivers to bring back Sundays. I hope this happens soon.

Also, Kaua‘i should really take a cue from the recent devastation on Maui.

We already know the impact that the use of fossil fuels has on Kaua`i. Traffic gridlock, along with desecration to the land in all forms is what we see every day.

We should be a beacon for the rest of the world on at least trying to be ecologically conscientious. Everyone wants to blame or finger point, or say it’s impossible. I disagree, it’s all in what we want to do. Hold our elected officials accountable, for one.

Faith Harding, Kilauea
Source: The Garden Island

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