Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 327

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Transportation, to which was referred H.B. No. 327, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Department of Transportation to develop and implement a program that allows single occupant vehicles to use the zipper lane for a fee.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Transportation and Hawaii Transportation Association.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Tax Foundation of Hawaii.


     Your Committee finds that traffic congestion is a pressing issue for the State as more residents are spending more time commuting than with their loved ones.  To address traffic congestion, the State implemented a high occupancy vehicle lane, more commonly known as the zipper lane, which created an extra lane for residents on Oahu.  Your Committee further finds that in August of 2016, the Department of Transportation expanded the zipper lane to accommodate two lanes.  This increased capacity of the zipper lane by twenty percent, or an additional 1,700 vehicles per hour.  Your Committee believes that opening up the zipper lane to single use occupants for a fee will alleviate traffic congestion and provide the state highway fund with much needed revenue.


     Your Committee notes that according to testimony received by the Department of Transportation, because the zipper lane utilizes federal funding, the State is required to comply with the provisions in title 23 of the United States Code section 166, which only allows single occupant vehicles to use a high occupancy vehicle facility for a fee, subject to policies, procedures, and rules adopted by the Department of Transportation to carry out the program.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Changing the reference to "a zipper lane on the island of Oahu" to "a zipper lane in a county with a population equal to or greater than 500,000"; and


     (2)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     Your Committee notes that the Department of Transportation requested an appropriation of $30,000,000 for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a program or system that allows single occupant vehicles to access a high occupancy vehicle lane.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Transportation that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 327, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 327, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Transportation,