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Ask the Mayor: MEO Bus System Needs Improvement

Posted January 8, 2017, 04:28 PM HST Updated January 8, 2017, 04:44 PM HST
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MEO Bus file photo by Wendy Osher.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Aloha Mayor,

Q: I utilize the county-funded MEO Human Services Transportation bus on a regular basis because I don’t drive anymore. The employees are very nice, but the system seems extremely inefficient and on a number of occasions I have had to wait a long time for the bus (longer than 30 minutes past the scheduled pickup time) or been put on what seemed like a very inefficient route.

For example, recently I was waiting for the bus along with three ladies from Hawaiian Homes. While we were all departing from the same medical facility and they were traveling to the same area, they commented that they sometimes get put on three different buses with different routes to get home.

Overall, it’s a blessing to have the service available, but the reservation system appears to need improvement.

Would you have any insights into the system and whether plans are in the works to address the wait time and routes?

A: According to our county Department of Transportation, MEO recently began using a computer-based reservations system for its Human Services transportation. While there have been some bugs to work out, it has greatly improved over the past 3-plus months. As for the three ladies from Hawaiian Homes getting picked up on different buses from the same medical facility, it would depend on their confirmed pick-up times that were scheduled at least a day prior. If the first lady requested a 10 a.m.

As for the three ladies from Hawaiian Homes getting picked up on different buses from the same medical facility, it would depend on their confirmed pick-up times that were scheduled at least a day prior. If the first lady requested a 10 a.m.

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If the first lady requested a 10 a.m. pick-up, the second lady requested a 10:15 a.m. pick-up and the third lady requested pick-up at 10:30 a.m., the bus would not wait 30 minutes until the third lady is done in order to transport all three of them at the same time.

The reservations are set up to accommodate the riders based on their confirmed pick-up time, which should not and cannot be changed on the day of service, as that would confuse riders who already had confirmed times.

Anyone with questions or concerns about delays can contact our County of Maui DOT at 270-7511 to provide the information needed. DOT staff can then research the trip on the reservations software to see what the issue was regarding the delay. We can also see the GPS routing of the driver to see if other issues might have caused the delay.

Special Note from Mayor Arakawa:

A: Speaking about bus issues, I need to address an important Maui Bus safety issue in this column. In the last two weeks of 2016, Maui Bus employees have reported that someone had been shooting at bus windows with some sort of BB or pellet gun, shattering bus windows. No one was reported injured; however, this is a very dangerous situation.

There were four reported shooting incidents in December, with the last one taking place on Dec. 30. All of the shootings at Maui Buses took place along the Wailuku Loop bus route.

Roberts Hawaii, which has the contract for our bus drivers, has filed a police report for each shooting incident. This is not a game. Please stop shooting at our buses, as someone could be seriously injured.

I ask that anyone with information about any of these incidents call the Maui Police Department non-emergency line at 244-6400. Mahalo.

 

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