Survey: Hawaii Residents Have Diverse Views on Multimodal Travel Options and Parking Fees

Jul 26, 2023

Ulupono Initiative releases a white paper with results of sustainable transportation surveys

Ulupono Initiative announced the results of three surveys that examined how Hawaii residents view clean transportation options and parking fees in the context of sustainability, affordability, and accessibility.

Titled “Survey: Residents' Sentiments More Varied Towards Multimodal Transportation and Parking Fees,” the white paper examined two areas that Ulupono has studied over the past five years:

  • Multimodal travel options — Defined as cleaner, more sustainable ways for a person to travel from one place to another. Examples used in the survey included activities such as walking, biking, carpooling, or catching the bus.
  • Parking fees — Defined as a fee people pay to park their vehicle at various locations.

“We wanted to know if there is a disconnect between residents’ desire to use multimodal transportation and actually going out and using them.” said Kathleen Rooney, Ulupono Initiative’s director of transportation policy and programs. “In many cases, parking is presented as free, despite being heavily subsidized or having other hidden costs. This inhibits the success of these choices and so we also wanted to dive into tradeoffs around how much parking is really worth when compared to other community goals around affordable housing or greater transportation choices.”

Ulupono commissioned Anthology Research to conduct the online omnibus surveys in July 2021, July 2022, and February 2023. Each year’s survey consisted of two questions touching on multimodal transportation and one on parking fees, and reached approximately 500 participants each year for a total of about 1,500 research participants. Results are:

Multimodal Transportation Options

  • About half of survey respondents are more open to multimodal transportation choices than anticipated.
  • Neighbor island residents had similar openness to sustainable travel options to O‘ahu residents despite having generally fewer options on the ground.

Parking Fees

  • When asked if they would be willing to pay parking fees if it meant Hawaiʻi would have more affordable housing, more survey respondents were open to paying.

“By using this survey approach, we can assess changes in peoples’ sentiments in Hawai‘i as more transportation options become available and accessible,” Rooney said. “Right now, it shows that people are open to more choices and that their desires are not monolithic in support of exclusive car travel.”

The white paper can be found on Ulupono Initiative’s website, here. Ulupono plans to continue tracking answers to the same survey questions annually and will report on any significant findings in the future.

About Ulupono Initiative

A mission-driven venture of The Omidyar Group, Ulupono Initiative was founded in 2009 and strives to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii by working toward sustainable solutions that support and promote locally produced food, renewable energy, clean transportation choices, and better management of freshwater resources.

For more information about Ulupono Initiative, visit or connect with Ulupono on Twitter, FacebookInstagram,YouTube and LinkedIn.