Money drives future of more bus service

Money talks louder than signatures, as 40 citizens who petitioned the County Council for more public bus service learned this week.

Their request was met by empathy on the part of council members, who nonetheless said their hands are tied by the budget. Fixed routes cost more than $900,000 per year to operate, of which the county pays about half. With federal funding expected to dry up, the county’s financial burden would go up, making it harder to expand service.

But assuming there is wide enough demand for more service, and with traffic congestion that public transit might help lighten, the council and Mayor Maryanne Kusaka should look into boosting the bus budget.

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