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Additional federal funds secured via the King Street Bus-Only lane

A TheBus, driving on the Bus Only Lane, on King Street

HONOLULU – The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services (DTS) is proud to announce that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has approved the City and County of Honolulu’s application to include the King Street bus-only lane in the National Transit Database (NTD). DTS opened the lane, which spans a distance of 1.1 miles between Dillingham Boulevard and Punchbowl Street, in December 2020. Thanks to the new King Street bus-only lane, eastbound buses can move seamlessly through congested Chinatown and Downtown traffic.

King Street is the busiest transit corridor in the state, with roughly 900 buses from 39 different bus lines – carrying roughly 17,000 daily riders – making use of the bus lane, shortening trip times for many of Honolulu’s transit users. With the bus-only lane, TheBus travel times have reduced by as much as 30% during peak hours, while service reliability has increased by 11- 17% and average speed in miles-per-hour has doubled through Chinatown and Downtown when compared to 2019 data. The King Street bus-only lane also has the potential to save up to $560,000 in bus operating and maintenance costs per year.

“Bus-only lanes, like the one on King Street, are a ‘win-win’ for Honolulu,” said DTS Director Roger Morton. “Not only do bus-only lanes help our buses avoid traffic and keep their schedule, but they generate additional federal dollars that we can invest to make Honolulu’s transit system even better.”
By registering the lane with the National Transit Database, Honolulu will earn additional federal formula funding each year that can be used for various transit capital improvements, including the purchasing of new buses. Honolulu could receive a total of up to $8.8 million in additional federal funding over the next 20 years thanks to the King Street Bus-Only Lane.

“DTS strives to create Complete Streets to balance the needs of all road users,” said DTS Deputy Director Jon Nouchi. “On some of our largest boulevards, 40% of the users are transit riders in buses. By dedicating lanes to transit, we make TheBus an even more attractive option.”

The Federal Transit Administration approved the lane into the NTD in October 2022 after submission of a detailed traffic study. Director Morton indicated that DTS is planning additional bus-only lanes in the future.


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