Riding the Bus

The Department provides bus service in neighborhoods around the islands to ensure broad access to educational opportunities for Hawaiʻi’s students. Learn more about eligibility, pricing, free bus pass information, and how to apply. The DOE serves about 12,000 student riders on Oʻahu, 13,000 on the neighbor islands.

Eligibility

To be eligible for regular bus services:

  • Students in grades K-5 must reside one (1) mile or more from their home school.
  • Students in grade 6-12 must reside one and a half (1.5) miles or more from their home school.
  • Students must be actively enrolled in a HIDOE public school that has bus service available.

Regular bus services do not apply to students who:

  • Reside within the minimum qualifying distance.
  • Attend a school outside of their home school area.
  • Require transportation to destinations other than their home.

Service Exceptions

Students who do not qualify for regular bus service may receive a “space available” exception provided that there are open seats on the bus route. Parents can apply for this exception by completing the “Request to Ride the School Bus on a Space Available Basis” form (Form CS-101) along with the completed bus pass application form located in the School Bus Handbook. All forms are located at the school office. Forms must be submitted, reviewed and approved by the school principal prior to using the bus service. The approval process may take up to four or more weeks. Students will not be permitted to ride the bus until the application is approved, so parents should plan accordingly. 

Service Limitations

  • Regular school bus service is limited to transportation to and from the student’s residential address on record and school.
  • Department-contracted school buses do not travel on private property or on private roads. This includes, but is not limited to private developments, apartment complexes, business parking or driveway areas.
  • HIDOE school bus stops and travel will be limited to paved and/or maintained public roads and public access roads. Families may need to drive their student to the nearest HIDOE bus stop if they reside on a private road and/or one of the listed areas above.

Applications, Rates and Payments

All school bus applicants (both paid and free-status riders) must apply on a quarterly basis per the schedule provided below:

  • Quarter 1: July 17 to Aug. 31, 2023
  • Quarter 2: Sept. 18 to Oct. 31, 2023
  • Quarter 3: Nov. 27, 2023 to Jan. 31, 2024
  • Quarter 4: Feb. 19 to April 30, 2024

Applications are available at the school office or can be viewed online here. For in-person applicants, once applications are reviewed and approved by the school, payment must be received prior to the start of bus service.  

Online applications can also be submitted via eTrition (a valid student ID number is required to apply). For online applicants, once applications are reviewed and approved by the school, families will be prompted via email to submit payments online using EZSchoolPay.

Any applications that have not been paid or are pending approval after the quarterly period end date will automatically be denied and cleared from the application queue. Any applications submitted before the new period opens or after the period has closed will automatically be denied.

The flat rate for student bus passes are:

  • Quarterly Round Trip: $72
  • Quarterly One Way: $36

Accepted forms of payment include:

  • Cash
  • Cashier’s Check (make payable to “The Department of Education”)
  • Money Order (make payable to “The Department of Education”)
  • Personal check policies are dependent on the school. There is an additional $25 fee for all returned checks. Please inquire with the school office for more information.

Any replacement passes require a $5 fee to the school office (cash only).

Free Bus Pass Eligibility

Students who meet one or more of the following criteria are eligible to receive a free quarterly bus pass:

  • Student qualifies for the free lunch program based on household income information. (Note: Students who qualify for reduced lunch prices are not eligible for a free bus pass).
  • Student is a foster child.
  • Student is homeless and eligible for benefits under the McKinney-Vento Act (MVA).
  • Student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Modified Plan (MP) that includes transportation as a related service (special education only).
  • Student is directed by the Department to attend a school outside of the designated attendance area.
  • Student has at least three (3) older siblings who are fare-paying bus riders at their respective schools; one (1) free paid rider per three (3) paid riders.

If the student meets one or more of these qualifiers, please complete Part 3 of the bus pass application form, making sure to check off all of the qualifying categories that apply and select the appropriate pass option. Any inquiries regarding free pass eligibility should be directed to the school.

Bus Stop Information

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education’s Student Transportation Services Branch utilizes a bus stop locator/bus schedule information system called "Infofinder i."

This program enables parents and guardians to search for the nearest school bus stop using one’s home address. The website also provides estimated morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off times for all school grade levels statewide.

The Department highly recommends a responsible adult be present at the bus stop in the morning and in the afternoon for children 10 and under. Bus drivers are not responsible to match each child with a specific adult at the bus stops. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure a responsible adult is at the bus stop or make alternative arrangements for their child if they are unable to walk alone to and from the bus stop.

How to Find Your Bus Route

  • Visit Infofinder i.
  • Select home state from the dropdown menu (Hawaii).
  • Click on the "Hawaiʻi Department of Education" link.
  • Enter a street name or residential address.
  • Users will have the option to modify their school search selection via a dropdown menu. 
  • Results are displayed in a list and map form.

Note: Bus stop assignments will only populate for your child's school if you are living in an eligible neighborhood (over 1 mile from school for elementary, over 1.5 miles for middle/high school students), and if there is a safe bus stop in your area.

Due to the ongoing, nationwide bus driver shortage, regular education bus routes have been modified to improve service and safety for all student riders. If no bus stop locations are listed for your school, please contact your school office or email stsb@k12.hi.us for assistance.

For general inquiries and further bus route assistance, please email stsb@k12.hi.us.

Contact Information

Cindy Matsushita, Administrator

Phone: 808-784-6850

Email: stsb@k12.hi.us

How do I...?

Go

View all FAQ's

Tweets