Honolulu to Receive Nearly $6 Million to Improve Public Transit System With New Zero-Emission Buses

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- Hawai‘i) announced that the City and County of Honolulu is set to receive $5,940,005 in new federal funding to acquire six zero-emission buses and necessary on-road charging facilities. These new buses will run 24 hours daily on Route 40 between Makaha and Downtown Honolulu, helping people get to work and visit local businesses.

“Improving our public transit system with electric buses means that we can provide affordable transportation while reducing our carbon footprint,” said Sen. Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This new federal funding will make it easier for workers to commute and customers to visit local businesses while making our roads cleaner and quieter in the process.”

“Honolulu’s public transportation is one of the best in the nation, with some of the most professional and dedicated drivers for both TheBus and TheHandi-Van. Even under the most difficult of circumstances our drivers drive with aloha, and always show aloha to their riders. This federal grant will help build Honolulu’s public transportation toward a greener, brighter and safer operations fleet; moving the people of Honolulu to where they need to be,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

These funds will be used by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services to purchase or lease six 40-foot electric buses and support facilities at the Alapa‘i Transit Center. This is the first phase of Honolulu’s plan to make Route 40 entirely electric and transition to a zero-emission fleet within the next 15 years, which will ensure that workers have a greener, more affordable commute.

Honolulu received this grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission program following an intensive application process, with the city competing against other municipalities and localities across the country.

Big Island Will Purchase Three New Buses with Federal Grant Money

I mentioned the other day that the State of Hawaii was going to receive $8.44 Million in Federal funding for new buses and that $1.2 million of it would be going to the Big Island.

Mayor Kenoi announced the following today how Hawaii County would allot that funding:

The County of Hawai‘i will receive $1.2 million in grant money to purchase three new buses for its Hele-On fleet.

The money comes from the Federal Transit Administration State of Good Repair grant program. The modern buses will replace three older ones being retired from the Hele-On fleet, which features 51 buses carrying 1.2 million passengers a year all around Hawai‘i Island.

Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi said the county plans to purchase 49-passenger motor coaches to improve and expand upon its island-wide bus service. The new buses will be wheelchair accessible, air-conditioned, and equipped with bicycle racks.

“These funds will go a long way in helping us improve our transportation services,” said Mayor Kenoi. “They will replace buses that are over 17 years old.” Mayor Kenoi said U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye was instrumental in securing this grant.

“The buses we will purchase will provide a more comfortable and enjoyable riding experience for our residents,” said Mayor Kenoi. “We would like to thank Senator Inouye for his assistance in obtaining the funds for this project.”

A key strategic goal of the federal Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration is to assist municipalities with the improvement and maintenance of America’s buses and bus facilities. About $650 million has been made available by the Federal Transit Administration to improve the condition of transit equipment across the nation.