HOLO e-fare system launched in Honolulu

Dec. 21, 2018
The system is designed by INIT and will begin on the city and county bus network before expanding to the rail network in 2020.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) and the city and county of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services (DTS) launched the HOLO Pilot on Dec. 1, 2018. HOLO is being described as Oahu's first smart transit card. 

The account-based electronic fare system was designed and implemented by INIT and will be used by passengers on the city’s TheBus system and in the near future, on the city’s rail transit system. The Pilot will run approximately three months and will be followed by a full roll out for TheBus with roll out on the rail system anticipated in December 2020. 

INIT says the fare collection system delivers real-time fare processing and convenient account management for Oahu passengers, providing the ability for patrons to load passes or add value via their mobile device in route to board a bus, from the privacy of their own homes or by visiting local retail outlets or their regional satellite city hall.

HART notes that one of the best features of the HOLO Card is that a rider's money is protected in the event that the card is lost or stolen. 

Whitney Birch, HART fare collection manager, said “The HOLO system offers benefits to customers that make public transit more accessible and easier to use for everyone.” 

HOLO is a Hawaiian term meaning “to ride” and INIT explains that with the launch of this new system, passengers can experience smooth travel throughout the island of Oahu using HOLO.

The HOLO project kicked off in 2016 with system design, leading to the 2018 outfitting of the Oahu Transit Services’ 550 bus fleet with INIT proximity card readers, driver displays and routers to facilitate the validation of HOLO smart cards and electronic tickets. INIT is also supplying more than 100 ticket vending machines and nearly 140 fare gates for the rail system. The city is also evaluating the option to incorporate Biki, Honolulu’s new bikeshare system, with the HOLO card for a truly intermodal electronic fare system. 

INIT explains that its open architecture design enabled the delivery of several third-party system integrations to the HOLO system using open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The company notes that taking this approach allows the agencies to link external partners to manage their devices and CAD/AVL information. 

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.