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Caldwell opens up Alapai bus station restrooms to the public

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:11 p.m. HST, Mar 15, 2013

<br />Dennis oda / doda@staradvertiser.com<br />The bathrooms in the new Alapai Street Transit Station have combination locks and are reserved for bus drivers and workers, which outraged many bus riders. A bus driver waited to begin his route Wednesday while another unlocked the "Employees Only" bathroom.<br />

The restrooms at the Alapai Transit Center will be open to the public starting tomorrow, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said today.

Both the men’s and women’s restrooms have two stalls each. Located on the Diamond Head end of the ground level next to the driveway reserved for city buses, security guards will open them at 5 a.m. and lock them at 11 p.m. daily, the city said.

When the $19 million transit facility opened in May, the restrooms were made available only to bus drivers.

Then-Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka said the restrooms were designed only to be for bus drivers. Much as he would like restrooms at all transit facilities, he said, the city stopped putting them in newer ones due primarily to maintenance and security concerns.

But Caldwell, in a release, said some bus riders would miss the bus looking for a place to use the restroom. “The walk could be too far for seniors,” he said. “There were limited options early in the morning or late at night. I felt that this had to stop.”

He added: “Though cleaning, maintenance and security will not be free, this is the kind of service a city should provide.”

It will cost about $48,000 to clean and maintain the restrooms, city spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said. Security is already part of a current contract for the entire facility, he said.

The city estimates 200 buses and 2,000 passengers use the transit center daily.

Last August, City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi introduced a resolution urging the administration to construct public restrooms at the Alapai center. She noted that city officials, in a 2010 news release, pointed out that public restrooms would be among the amenities at the new facility.






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