S.B. NO.














relating to public transportation.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that revenues are needed to operate and maintain the counties' mass transit systems. The legislature notes that the counties have historically attempted to meet these revenue needs by adding or increasing rider fares. However, new fares and fare increases often place undue financial burdens on mass transit riders. The legislature therefore believes that adding or increasing mass transit fares should be a last resort.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to require the counties to seek revenues from alternative sources, including transit-based advertising, before imposing any new or increased mass transit fare.

SECTION 2. Chapter 51, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"51- Fares; revenues; transit-based advertisements. (a) Before a county establishes any new mass transit fare or increases any existing fare for a mass transit system authorized by this chapter, the county shall first assess whether the additional revenue sought from the proposed fare or fare increase may be obtained by alternative means, including transit-based advertisements.

(b) The county shall seek fair market compensation from governmental and nongovernmental entities, as applicable, for the display of paid advertisements displayed:

(1) On the interior of mass transit vehicles;

(2) On the exterior of mass transit vehicles; provided that the county may prohibit the placement of advertisements on the front exterior of vehicles; and

(3) At mass transit stops.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b), a county may:

(1) Establish reasonable restrictions on the placement, format, size, and material of transit-based advertisements to ensure the health and safety of passengers, operators, and the general public; and

(2) Prohibit any transit-based advertisement that:

(A) Bears the name, signature, picture, or likeness of any elected federal, state, or city official or any candidate for federal, state, or city elective office;

(B) Promotes or appeals to racial, religious, or ethnic prejudice or violence by reason of the advertisement's design, format, or subject matter;

(C) Contains obscene, lewd, lascivious, or indecent pictures, words, or symbols;

(D) Promotes any illegal, indecent, or immoral purpose; or

(E) Promotes any product or service that is prohibited by law from being sold or offered for sale to minors or an age-based subgroup of minors.

(d) A county that, after the assessment described in subsection (a), determines that a new mass transit fare or fare increase is necessary shall submit a justification report to the department of transportation. The report shall include:

(1) The amount and type of the proposed new mass transit fare or fare increase; and

(2) A description of the county's efforts to raise revenues through alternative means, if any.

(e) Within thirty days from the receipt of a county's justification report under subsection (d), the department of transportation shall approve or reject the county's proposed new mass transit fare or fare increase. If the department of transportation:

(1) Rejects the proposed new fare or fare increase, the county shall not establish or increase the fare;

(2) Approves the proposed new fare or fare increase, the county may establish or increase the fare as provided by county ordinance; or

(3) Fails to submit a decision to the county within thirty days, the proposed new fare or fare increase shall be deemed approved.

(f) Mass transit fare revenues and revenues from transit‑based advertisements shall be expended by a county only to operate and maintain the county's mass transit system."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Counties; HDOT; Mass Transit Fares; Fare Increases; Transit-Based Advertisements



Requires the counties, before implementing any new mass transit fare or increasing any existing fare to first seek revenues from alternative sources, including transit-based advertisements. Requires a county that decides, after seeking alternative revenue sources, to implement a new or increased mass transit fare to submit a justification report to the Department of Transportation. Requires the Department of Transportation to reject or approve the proposed new mass transit fare or fare increase within 30 days of receiving a county's justification report.




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