HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is moving into another phase of its
“Get on Board” student transportation initiative servicing regions on Oahu. This month, parents and guardians of public school students eligible to ride the bus will receive a postcard alerting them of their routes and pick-up times for the 2014-15 school year, which starts Aug. 1.
Postcards were mailed last week to more than 28,000 parents/guardians. The postcards, which contain information about the child’s neighborhood school bus route, stop location and stop times, should arrive by Wednesday, July 30
Parents seeking to enroll their children for bus service must complete an application form, which is available at schools and on the DOE website HawaiiPublicSchools.org. Bus service will be provided only between the student’s official home address and assigned neighborhood school. Households that do not receive the postcard by July 30 are asked to contact the Get on Board Hotline at (808) 586-0161 or their school.
Students in kindergarten through fifth grade must reside a mile or more from the school within their attendance area to qualify for regular school bus service, or 1.5 miles or more for those in grades 6-12.
The DOE’s Get on Board program is a multi-year, multi-phased effort to improve the delivery and safety of transportation services to public school students. Beginning this year, some buses may also be outfitted with video surveillance equipment.
Get on Board launched last school year, restoring bus service to about 1,200 students in the Aiea, Moanalua, Pearl City, Radford and Waipahu High complex areas. In November, it expanded to serve about 200 more students from August Ahrens Elementary, Highlands Intermediate, Pearl City High and Waipahu High. The restoration of the additional routes in November increased total ridership in the Get on Board pilot area to approximately 4,000 students, representing a significant step toward full statewide program implementation over the next two school years.
In November 2013, the program’s second phase introduced computer software that was used to optimized stop times and route directions in a portion of the service area.
The DOE’s efforts to overhaul its student transportation system will enter a new phase with two vendors servicing Oahu beginning this school year. The new contracts are among major reform efforts underway since December 2012 to meet recommendations by the State Office of the Auditor and the DOE’s transportation consultant, Management Partnership Services (MPS) to make fundamental changes to the bus procurement process.
Contracts were awarded to Roberts Hawaii School Bus and Ground Transport, Inc. on Nov. 27, 2013 following a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that began in July 2013. The RFP was divided into seven clusters, and 305 school bus routes on the island of Oahu, with Roberts receiving 181 routes, and Ground the other 124.
For more information about Get on Board, visit the student bus transportation page on HawaiiPublicSchools.org; or search for Get on Board on the home page.
About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 33 charter schools, and serves more than 185,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.