Maui Discussion

LETTER: Are Maui School Bus Deficiencies More Extensive than Reported?

August 9, 2017, 10:05 AM HST
* Updated August 10, 3:16 PM
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Are Maui school bus issues more extensive than what has been reported and what the state has led the public to believe?

Concerned parents tell Maui Now that they are frustrated by the school bus crisis.  While some are  dealing with route suspension and schedule changes as announced, others worry that the lack of certified CDL bus drivers is affecting schools other than the handful that had service suspended or consolidated this week.

In the letter below, a South Maui resident of Honuaʻula expresses concerns over lack of leadership and answers regarding the safety of children who rely on the school bus system across the island.  We welcome your thoughts in the comment section below.

Aug. 8, 2017

Aloha,

I’m writing to you in huge concern and confusion as to why there is very little information regarding the new bus program.

I have two daughters ages six and eight who attend Kamali’i Elementary School and rely on the bus program. Being where I live, my children are unable to walk to the bus stop so I drive them there.

On Monday I spoke to the office of personnel and principal who both confirmed that I didn’t have to worry about them being picked up.

On Tuesday I took them to the bus stop and I waited with them because this has always been a fear of mine if the bus doesn’t show up. We arrived 20 minutes early and we waited 25 minutes after our scheduled bus stop, and no bus.

I drove them to school, contacted the State DOE student transport, talked to the new bus company and Kamaliʻi Elementary, and no one could give me a straight answer or solutions if my children would be able to use the bus service.

I am fortunate enough that I have an understanding boss who will give me the time off to get my children safely to school.

My concern is the other kids who walk to their bus stop without parents or means of communication and then the bus doesn’t show up. I’ve heard from other parents and staff that other younger kids were left unattended and buses were 45 minutes late.

What the hell is going on and why are our children being put at risk because of lack of leadership and negotiations by the State and their contractors?

The news tonight was like they were giving the least information as possible and making like this is not even a big deal. This is huge. This is wrong, beyond wrong.  Where is the answers, what’s the time frame, why aren’t parents being notified of late or no bus?

Now they want to rush and get certified drivers temporary licenses so they have drivers!? Is that even legal or safe? We’ve had good relationships with our drivers why isn’t the State pulling this contract and giving it to the company who can supply the demand? Where is the stories? The truth?

Please help us to find these answers and solutions in order to protect our children.

Mahalo nui for your time.

Kekoa, concerned resident
Honuaʻula, Maui

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