U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award $9.6 million in transit infrastructure funding to improve the safety and reliability of Hawaii’s bus systems and enhance mobility for transit riders.
The funding supports projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, and construct bus-related facilities.
The $9.6 million will go to the Hawaii Department of Transportation to purchase new hybrid and diesel buses for public transportation services in the counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui.
No specific information was in the Federal Transportation Administration’s announcement about what Hawaii County will receive nor has the County released information on its plans for the funds.
The FTA received 282 applications for funding, which totaled $1.8 billion in funding requests.
Hawaii County has long struggled with providing bus service. There have been years of spotty service, with buses out of service for repair and routes cancelled on short notice. Right now, Robert’s Tours and Transportation Inc. has a contract to operate county buses, but with COVID-19, buses can carry far fewer riders than the bus capacity.