Maui News

10 New Maui County Paratransit Buses Blessed

August 4, 2021, 4:58 PM HST
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Maui Economic Opportunity CEO Debbie Cabebe and Maui County Transportation Director Marc Takamori untie a maile lei during the blessing of 10 new paratransit buses, which should be on the road in the next two weeks. PC: Maui Economic Opportunity.

Maui County paratransit bus riders will benefit from 10 new paratransit buses, which were blessed Wednesday and should be on the road within the next two weeks.

“We’re excited that these 10 new buses will be placed into service shortly for our paratransit riders,” said Marc Takamori, director of the County of Maui Department of Transportation. “The buses have upgraded suspensions that would provide for a smoother ride.”

The Rev. John Hau‘oli Tomoso blessed the new paratransit buses at the Maui Economic Opportunity base yard in Puʻunēnē.

The Rev. John Hau‘oli Tomoso blesses one of 10 new paratransit buses with the help of Transportation Deputy Director Michael Du Pont on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Maui Economic Opportunity base yard in Puʻunēnē. PC: Maui Economic Opportunity.

The buses, which cost about $140,000 each, join the Maui Bus Americans with Disabilities Act paratransit fleet. Each can carry eight regular or four wheelchair passengers.

MEO operates the Maui Bus paratransit system, which offers curb-to-curb pickups for riders with disabilities within three-fourths of a mile of a Maui Bus route.

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Patty Copperfield, director of MEO Transportation, said that the buses will be on the road in the next couple of weeks following driver training and other preparation requirements.

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The blessing comes less than two weeks after Maui Economic Opportunity reported the theft of five catalytic converters from the organization’s fleet of buses at its base yard.  Organization leaders say the incident comes as the nonprofit agency faces tight budgets and will cost $6,000 to $7,000. More on that story here.

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