(BIVN) – Students on Hawaiʻi island who live near an existing Hawaiʻi County Hele-On bus routes will be able to get to and from school by way of a monthly pass, officials announced on Wednesday.
The County of Hawaiʻi has formed a new partnership with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education to “help alleviate student transportation issues on Hawaiʻi Island caused by a shortage of school bus drivers and routes,” a news release stated.
“Eligibility is available to all middle/intermediate and high school students on Hawaiʻi island for whom seats on existing school bus routes are not available, students eligible under Hawaii Administrative Rule §8-27-5; and students who qualify for free transportation,” the County wrote. “Those who do not qualify for free transportation will be required to pay the $72 quarterly bus pass fee, which will include Hele-On bus passes for three months (value of $135)”
Something similar is already being done on with the County of Honolulu and TheBus. “DOE reports excellent success with that partnership from Oʻahu students accessing schools beyond traditional yellow school bus transportation capacity,” Hawaii County says.
Parents interested in this new partnership can follow the steps below to access this bus pass:
- Submit a school bus application to the school office or online via eTrition. A student’s ID number is needed to apply online.
- If a child’s application was previously approved and put on a waitlist, parents can contact the school to request a Hele-On bus pass;
- After the school reviews the application, parents will be notified if the application has been approved. It takes approximately two weeks to receive their Hele-On bus pass.
“When parents contacted Hele-On looking for alternatives to getting their child to and from school, we immediately contacted DOE to see how we can help within the existing design of the Hele-On transit system,” says John Andoh, Interim Mass Transit Administrator. “We also recently launched the new routes as designed in the 2018 adopted Transit and Multi-Modal Transportation Plan which provides more access to DOE schools, island-wide with more routes and more frequency.”
“Ensuring adequate and equitable access to education for all our keiki is necessary to ensuring a vibrant and sustainable Hawaiʻi Island for generations to come,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “That is why we are excited to be able to partner with the DOE to provide county resources make sure that no keiki is left behind.”
To learn more about how to ride Hele-On and the routes and schedules, visit heleonbus.org. Schedules and route maps are available online or by calling (808) 961-8744, option 1, and can also be picked up at Moʻoheau Bus Terminal at 329 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.