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Hele-On (The Bus) Community Meetings in Puna

In 2010 Fourth District County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi received a grant check for $7.2 million on behalf of the County of Hawai‘i from U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye to fund mass transit improvements

I received the following from Councilwoman Jen Ruggles:

Aloha Kakou,

We are putting out the call to all the people in Puna that have ideas to improve our Hele-on Bus System. Now is the time to bring your needs and ideas forth.

This is the first of two rounds of meetings meant to guide the county in making its first ever 20 year Master Transit Plan. MARK YOUR CALENDAR to make one of the following meetings:

  • October 11th at 6pm at Kea’au Community Center 16-186 Pili Mua St. Kea’au HI 96749.
  • October 12th at 6pm at Pahoa Community Facility 15-2910 Kuahala St. Pahoa HI 96778.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Now is the time to show our need for:

  1. More bus routes.
  2. Expanded routes into subdivisions
  3. Your ideas for improvements

Need a ride? Call Jo-Anna at 808-356-1260 to arrange a ride at least 5 days prior to the event. If you cannot attend, please submit your suggestions to heleonsuggestions@ssfm.com.

Puna Community Meeting on Transportation Options

The public is invited to learn about new rideshare technologies using a smartphone that can provide Puna with much needed jobs and rides. Council member Jen Ruggles will be hosting a community meeting on new transportation opportunities this Thursday, May 25th at 6pm at the Keaau Community Center.

“Dependable, safe, and convenient transportation is a critical need in our district,” said Ms. Ruggles, “there is a public transportation planning process currently underway. In order for Puna’s complex needs to be met we need to improve our bus system and welcome alternative transportation methods.”

Hawaii County’s new director of Mass Transit, Curtis Sharp, will also be there to give an update on the status of the bus system, the new master plan, and to answer questions. Representatives from transportation network companies Uber and Lyft, who have already started recruiting drivers on the Big Island, will give a short presentation and answer questions.

“Considering half our bus fleet is out of service, we have an exciting new opportunity with Uber and Lyft just coming to the Big Island. I want to make sure the community has a chance to take full advantage of it.”

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact the office of Jen Ruggles at 808-961-8263.