Locals deserve lower shuttle rate
Today’s TGI (June 13) laid out the plans for the North Shore shuttle. It listed an “introductory rate” of $11 for a roundtrip, reserved seat at a specific time. There is also a $2 fee to just ride around the North Shore area.
As a Kauai resident and a lover and supporter of our magnificent North Shore, I commend the idea of a shuttle as a way for visitors to see Haena State Park and enjoy the beauty of this natural wonder, as well as the educational opportunities offered in the surrounding areas of the beach.
However, I find the lack of a kama‘aina rate distressing. While $11 may not seem like much to tourists visiting our island for the first (or 20th) time, it certainly could pose a hardship for those of us on a fixed or insufficient incomes.
Many of our residents struggle to afford food and shelter. Many of us are kupuna on a fixed income. I do understand that Hawaii residents will not have to pay the $1 park entry fee, nor, should we choose to drive and are able to reserve one of the 30 resident parking spots, will we have to pay the $5 parking fee. This is nice, and it is appreciated.
Perhaps the $2 roundtrip ride fee and the $1 park entry fee should be increased for non-residents. And perhaps the $11 shuttle rate should apply to non-residents, with a lower rate for residents. We live here. We suffered through the horrific rains and the resulting damage. We have waited patiently for the road to reopen. We deserve a kama‘aina rate on the North Shore shuttle.
Donna Gould Carsten, Kapaa