School Bus Talks on Maui Still Unresolved

August 6, 2017, 5:10 AM HST · Updated August 6, 5:14 AM
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The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education advises parents and guardians of students at Lahainaluna High and Baldwin High who depend on school bus routes exclusively serving grades 9 to 12 to find alternate rides. This will also apply to students of ʻĪao Intermediate using school bus routes exclusively serving grades 6 to 8. HIDOE has learned that its current bus vendor for those locations remains 15 Commercial Driver License drivers short.

“We have explored all options and have been unable to assist in securing licensed drivers for these critical routes,” said Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “We apologize for this temporary inconvenience and routes will be restored as new bus drivers are hired.”

In discussions with Mayor Alan Arakawa, the county bus system does not have the capacity to take on an increased number of passengers.

“We spoke and brainstormed with Mayor Arakawa on solutions in hopes of finding a solution to prevent this situation, however, there are too many legal obligations for outside parties to engage. It’s disappointing, but this is the reality,” stated Carlson.

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On Friday afternoon, Mayor Arakawa met with representatives from the State Department of Education and Roberts Hawaii, in an effort to help mediate between both parties and to get school transportation ready for students.  He said, unfortunately the mediation attempt ended with the situation still unresolved.

“I had hoped that with the county in the middle to mediate we could bring both sides together to find a solution,” said Mayor Arakawa. “Right now I just want to make it clear to parents that our Maui Bus cannot handle an influx of 250 students with a couple of our 30 passenger buses. Barring a resolution before Tuesday, I strongly urge parents to please make other arrangements for their  children to get to school,” he said.

Bus routes at Lahainaluna High and Baldwin High serving K to 12 grade levels will continue to operate on normal schedules beginning on the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. However, bus routes at these schools exclusively serving grades 9 to 12 will be temporarily suspended and those students will need to find alternate modes of travel to get to and from school. Bus routes at ʻĪao Intermediate serving K to 8 grade levels will continue to operate as normal, but routes exclusively serving grades 6 to 8 will be suspended.

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Maui High School bus routes will be temporarily consolidated. Scheduled pick-up and arrival times will be modified from previous years. The updated bus schedule will be provided in a later notice.

During this time, school administrators will make adjustments to ensure that all students affected by the transportation delays have adequate time for school breakfast and are not penalized for tardiness.

For additional school bus route information, please view this Special Bulletin for Maui High, Lahainaluna High, Baldwin High & ʻĪao Intermediate. For questions or concerns, please call the Get On Board Hotline at (808) 586-0161 on Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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