EXPRESS Frequently Asked Questions

20-Jul-2023

EXPRESS FAQ

Who is eligible for a county bus pass through the Hawai‘i State Department of Education’s EXPRESS program?

All Hawai‘i public high school students in grades 9-12 with an active DOE ID number are eligible. HIDOE students with an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) who have transportation services included in their IEP as a related service should visit the Department’s special education webpage for more information. Charter school and private school students are not eligible to participate in the program.


What is the application process?

Step 1: Check the respective island transit office website for route information and identify the bus route(s), times, and locations with your student. Please see the bottom of this page for the county transportation office contact information.

Step 2: Fill out and submit the online application.

Step 3: Identify and practice safe walking routes to/from the bus stops at home and at the school. Refer to the public transportation safety information below.

For Kauaʻi/Maui/Hawaiʻi county: Passes will be distributed to the schools as soon as possible. Have your student visit the school office to pick up their pass when prompted.

For Oʻahu: For the 2023-24 school year, the Department has partnered with the City & County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services (DTS) and print supply vendor, Gebco, to provide student ID cards to all Oʻahu high schools. These new student IDs will have the HOLO chip built in so the student ID will function as their HOLO card for TheBus and Skyline. Once the online application is completed, it will take between 3-5 business days for the ID to be activated and able to use.  


How long are the passes good for?

Passes will be valid through May 31, 2024.


Can I apply for a county bus pass and a regular school bus pass?

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education will supply only one (1)  type of bus pass per student. Please choose wisely as this selection will be applicable for one full quarter. If you choose to switch your pass option, you will have to wait until the following quarter to do so.

For Kauaʻi/Maui/Hawaiʻi county: If your student has a quarterly bus pass for the regular school bus, it will be deactivated upon receipt of the county bus pass. Students will be asked to exchange their school bus pass when they receive their county bus.

For Oʻahu: If your student has a quarterly bus pass for the regular school bus, it will be deactivated upon activation of the new student ID with the HOLO number on it. Students will be asked to surrender their regular school bus pass if they request to have their HOLO card activated.


What if we already paid for a school bus pass?

For Kauaʻi/Maui/Hawaiʻi county: If you already paid for a school bus pass and you want to switch to the county pass, you can request a refund here: bit.ly/STSB-refund. It is recommended that you wait to request the refund until you have received the county bus pass. Once refunds are processed, the school bus pass is deactivated.

For Oʻahu: It is recommended that you wait until the following quarter to make the adjustment.  When the application period for the following quarter opens, do not apply for regular school bus service and activate your student ID HOLO number online.


Is there a deadline to sign up for the pilot program?

The application deadline is April 1, 2024.


How do I find out what route and bus stop to use?

Please contact the island specific county transportation office customer service using the contact information provided below.

Kauaʻi

Website: https://www.kauai.gov/Transportation

Bus Schedules: https://www.kauai.gov/BusSchedules 

Rider Rules/Safety Information: https://www.kauai.gov/Government/Departments-Agencies/Transportation/Carry-On-Items-Prohibited-Activities

Phone Number: (808) 246-8110

Email: thekauaibus@kauai.gov 

Download the app: Kauai Bus Tracker

Oʻahu

Website: https://www.thebus.org

Bus Schedules: https://www.thebus.org/Route/Routes.asp

Plan Your Trip: https://www.thebus.org/PlanYourTrip.asp

Rider Rules/Safety Information: https://www.thebus.org/howtoride/RulesReg.asp?l=

Phone Number: (808) 768-4656 (HOLO)

Phone Number: (808) 848-5555, ext 5 (TheBus Customer Service)

Email: info@holocard.net

Download the app: HEA-TheBus

Maui

Website: https://www.mauicounty.gov/bus

Bus Tracking: https://mauibus.org/

Rider Rules/Safety Information: https://www.mauicounty.gov/606/Bus-Rules

Phone Number: (808) 871-7651

Email: public.transit@mauicounty.gov

Download the app: https://mauibus.org/

Hawaiʻi Island

Website: http://www.heleonbus.org

Bus Schedules: http://www.heleonbus.hawaiicounty.gov/getting-around/bus-schedules-and-maps

Rider Rules/Safety Information: https://www.heleonbus.hawaiicounty.gov/getting-around/riding-on-hele-on-buses

Phone Number: (808) 961-8744, option 1

Email: heleonbus@hawaiicounty.gov


On O‘ahu, what if my child(ren) already has a Holo Card?

The student passes that the Department is distributing are separate from the Holo Cards, but will function the same as the Holo Card on TheBus and Skyline.


Will the Department of Education reimburse families for city and county bus passes already purchased?

No.


How many rides does the county bus pass include?

The monthly passes include unlimited rides per month.


How will the bus passes be distributed?

Distribution of passes will vary by island:

Kaua‘i: Bus passes will be distributed as they become available by the county public transit office and will be distributed to the school(s) prior to the first of the following month.

Maui: Monthly passes will be distributed as they become available by the county public transit office and will be distributed to the school(s) prior to the first of the following month.

Hawai‘i Island: Monthly passes will be distributed as they become available by the county public transit office and will be distributed to the school(s) prior to the first of the following month. Please note that public transit service, Hele-On, is already a free fare service that can be utilized at any time without a HIDOE issued pass.

O‘ahu: The student ID provided by school is also the student’s HOLO card. Once the student applies online, the HOLO number will be activated and the student ID can be used to tap on TheBus and Skyline.


What if my county bus pass is lost, stolen or damaged?

For Kauaʻi/Maui/Hawaiʻi county: Due to the nature of the monthly pass, only one pass is issued to a student. If it is lost/stolen, they will have to wait until the following month to receive the new one.

For O‘ahu: If a student loses their student ID with the HOLO number on it, they will have to request a replacement student ID from the school office and follow the school’s replacement ID policy. Payment amount is determined by the school.


Can the city and county bus pass be utilized for ADA and/or Paratransit services?

City and County bus passes for ADA and Paratransit services are not included in this program.  Please visit the Department’s special education webpage for more information on transportation options.


Are regular school bus passes also free?

The eligibility requirements for a free school bus pass have not changed. Please refer to the school bus application handbook for more information.


Can I go to the county transportation office to pick up my student’s pass?

No, the bus passes will be distributed to the school office who will distribute them to the students.


What if we applied for a county bus pass and then changed our minds?

If you apply for a county bus pass and then change your mind, you will need to reapply for a school bus pass. Due to the adjustments in the application process, you will have to wait until the application period reopens the following quarter.

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