10 New Maui Buses Help Serve 2.5 Million Ridership
By Wendy Osher
The Maui County Department of Transportation hosted a dedication ceremony today for the addition of 10 new buses to the Maui fleet.
County Transportation Director Jo Anne Johnson Winer said the buses cost a total of $4.8 million and were acquired with 20% county funds, and 80% federal funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s competitive State of Good Repair grant.
The new buses bring the county fleet size to 30, and help to serve a ridership that is estimated at 2.5 million passengers.
That’s down slightly from the 2.7 million passenger boardings per year reported in December 2012, and was attributed in part to a fare increase.
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa called the new buses a “tremendous asset,” saying, “it goes to show how much the public relies on our bus system.”
During the dedication ceremony, Mayor Arakawa said, “2.5 million passengers translates to that many cars that are not on the road.” He said it will also help individuals to save on gas, and allow people to economize.
One of the added features to the new bus includes a “nano-tech” fabric on seats that is anti-microbial, water repellant, lasts longer, and is a healthier alternative, said Director Johnson Winer.
There’s also a two-position bike rack, energy efficient LED signage, and on-board cameras.
Video captured from an on-board camera from Bus-2706 in the existing fleet captured footage last week of a surfboard becoming airborne from another vehicle and crashing through the front windshield of a Maui Bus in Launiupoko.
“If it wasn’t for the bike rack the driver could have been seriously injured,” said Johnson Winer, who also credited the driver with maintaining his composure during the incident.
According to Johnson Winer, the cameras help the department monitor for ADA compliance with proper boarding, and are tied in to the speed of the vehicle, alerting the department of speeding or sudden stops made during the bus transit.
The 10 new vehicles brings to 30 the total number of large buses in the Maui fleet.