A recent article by the Star Advertiser reported that all federal and government funding was going to be pulled from the Hawaii based company Vanpool Hawaii. Vanpool Hawaii is a ride-sharing program that helped people get around at low cost. A group of up to fifteen people could rent a van for only $65 a month but that rate was because of federal (and then once that was pulled) state funding. Over 1,400 people use Vanpool and now it appears they’ll have to prepare for a significant rate increase. How much that increase will be isn’t clear yet.
While most of Vanpool’s audience is commuters, Maui condo renters and vacation rental companies would also use them to arrange group transport. Federal funding cuts are hardly a new occurence, and Hawaii auto transport has certainly seen fees hike as energy costs have increased. What’s different here is that Vanpool is a great example of an expense that the state will most likely not choose to continue once the federal support fades away. And that will leave commuters to, most likely, engage private vehicles, using more fuel in a less efficient manner. Something to think about.