The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal bill that would raise bus rates for many passengers.

The bill still needs to pass two more votes by the full City Council, so any new fares would likely not take effect until some time next year.

If the new fares do pass, they would be the second rate increase in about a year. Adult fares and fares for senior citizens would be the most dramatic.

Adult fares would go up $110 a year — from $770 to $880. Senior citizen fares would rise from $35 to $100 a year, an increase of around 300 percent.

Articulated TheBus along Beretania Street.
The Honolulu City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to move forward with a bill that would increase bus fares for adults and senior citizens. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Although the bill sets Jan. 1 as the date new rates would take effect, the City Council has only one more full meeting before the end of the year, and the measure need to pass two more time.

Council Chair Ernie Martin referred the bill to the Budget Committee, which is chaired by Trevor Ozawa.

The council killed a bill in September that would have also increased bus fares. Those rates were not in line with rates recommended by the Honolulu Rate Commission, however.

That proposal would have raised rates for all fare categories.

In that case, the council voted along factional lines to defeat the bill, which was introduced by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Ozawa and Martin, along with council members Carol Fukunaga, Ann Kobayashi and Kimberly Pine.

On Wednesday, the bill proposing new fare rates was moved along with five other bills relating to shoreline setbacks, detached dwellings, simulated gambling devices and a tax incentive program for developing solutions for homelessness.

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