HONOLULU – The popular Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) program, launched back in 2009 by the state Department of Transportation (DOT), will be expanding its coverage on the H-1 Freeway eastward to Ainakoa Avenue in Waialae beginning Monday, July 1, 2013. This expansion will provide an additional three miles of coverage area from the current end point at University Avenue in Manoa.
“The Freeway Service Patrol is a tremendous aid to make our freeways safer by quickly removing stalled or disabled vehicles,” said Glenn Okimoto, state DOT Director. “The program has provided over 36,000 traffic assists in its four-year history and benefits all motorists by keeping traffic moving.”
FSP trucks will also be equipped with a new tool in Push Bumpers to help clear stalled vehicles from busy traffic lanes to the roadside. The procedure uses a specialized front bumper mounted on the FSP truck to push a vehicle from behind to a safer location in order to reduce safety hazards and the potential for secondary collisions. The bumper is designed to push vehicles for limited distances without damage to either vehicle.
The FSP program costs approximately $3 million annually, with 90-percent provided in federal funds and 10-percent from the state DOT. A study by DOT engineers calculated the average benefit-cost for the first two years of FSP at close to 8:1. This means that for every dollar spent, almost eight dollars in benefits are realized. These benefits are measured in terms of reduction in delays (measured as vehicle-hours), savings in fuel, and decreases in emissions.
FSP drivers made 36,229 traffic assists since the inception of the program on June 17, 2009, through May 31, 2013. Motorists were assisted in the following categories:
23% Flat Tire
12% Out of Gas
8% Traffic Assist (assisting police, fire and emergency services)
6% Abandoned Vehicle
3% Battery Jump
2% Debris Removal
2% Load Adjustment
24% Other Assist/Unclassified (e.g., locked out of vehicle, providing motorists directions, repairing a fender, or taping up a leaky hose)
Of these assists, 23-percent resulted in the vehicle being towed to another location, off of the freeway.
The FSP service operates from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. FSP routes cover approximately 29 miles of freeway in both directions, from the H-1 Freeway Kunia Interchange (Kunia Road) and the H-2 Freeway Waipio Interchange (Ka Uka Boulevard) to the H-1 Terminus at Ainakoa Avenue in Waialae. This includes the entirety of the H-201 Moanalua Freeway and the H-1 Airport Viaduct.
Assistance is provided free of charge to the public. Motorists in need of assistance are asked to call 841-HELP (841-4357).