City and County of Honolulu Donates Buses to Hawai’i County Mass Transit

Hawai’i County Mass Transit will soon take delivery of seven buses donated by the City and County of Honolulu, a much-needed boost to the Big Island’s beleaguered bus fleet.

The seven buses, built in 1997, have been retired from service on O‘ahu, but are still in working condition. According to a press release from Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office, similar buses have a typical lifespan of a million miles, and are still used in TheBus operations.

Pictured (left to right): Hawai‘i County Mass Transit Administrator Curtis Sharp, Mayor Caldwell, O‘ahu Transit Services General Manager Roger Morton, Honolulu Transportation Services Deputy Director Jon Nouchi.

Honolulu has regularly donated retired buses to Hawai’i, Maui and Kaua‘i Counties. The most recent donation to the Big Island was five buses in 2014. This year’s entire allotment of seven buses to the Neighbor Islands went to the Big Island due to its urgent needs.

The donated buses this time are expected to go into service here during the week of July 10.

Mass Transit consultant Curtis Sharp said that the donation was sorely-needed, with many of the HeleOn fleet sidelined. Five of the seven donated buses will replace five vehicles needing maintenance; repairs will proceed with an eye to getting a total of 10 buses on the road.

“We’re shooting for the end of July to have 10 buses running effectively,” Sharp said. “The two remaining donated buses will serve as back-ups.”

O‘ahu Transit Services maintenance personnel have kept thorough maintenance records of these vehicles and are turning over these records, preventative maintenance schedules, and service manuals to ensure Hele-On’s maintenance team a successful transition into their fleet.

“We sincerely appreciate the hand that Honolulu has offered us,” Sharp said. He thanked Young Brothers for waiving shipment charges for the buses.

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