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Neighbor islands to get $3M for buses


The neighbor islands will receive $3.44 million to buy new county buses, Hawaii’s congressional delegation announced Thursday.

The money comes from the fiscal year 2012 State of Good Repair Program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Kauai County will get $1.24 million, Hawaii County $1.2 million and Maui County $1 million each, the lawmakers said. Honolulu will get $5 million.

“The county bus systems provide our residents and visitors with a safe and reliable form of transportation that improves access to work and leisure activities, especially on the neighbor islands, and we must maintain and refurbish our fleet whenever possible,” said U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye in a statement. 

“This money could not come at a better time,” Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said in a separate statement. “Our Maui Bus system has become so popular that buses have to leave people behind because we don’t have enough room for everyone.”

Maui County Transportation Director Jo Anne Johnson Winer said Maui’s transit services now accommodate more than 2.7 million passenger-trips per year.

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