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Plans for new transit hub and bus route coming to Big Island

Hele-On bus in Kailua-Kona
Wikimedia Commons
Hele-On bus in Kailua-Kona

The state Department of Transportation and Hawaiʻi County’s bus system Hele-On have received federal funding to plan a new transit hub in downtown Pāhoa.

The funding also helps the county and state DOT support a fixed-route transit system.

The planning comes as a result of a $270,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration Areas of Persistent Poverty Program.

The grants help to improve transportation in low-income areas. The program works to increase racial equity, improve public health, and help the environment.

John Andoh, Hawaiʻi Island's mass transit administrator and general manager, says he is “excited to provide Puna with enhanced transit services and start the formal planning for the Pāhoa Transit Hub.”

The consultant team has partnered with the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System, along with the Hawaiʻi Office of Planning and Sustainable Development in hopes of co-locating the transit hub with a future Pāhoa Public Library.

Eleven sites will be considered for the transit hub, but SSFM International will have the final say on the site selection. It is also in charge of the environmental analysis and design work for the hub.

The Pāhoa Transit Hub, as well as the new bus system, is expected to better connect people to jobs and opportunities.

Emily Tom is a temporary digital news producer for summer 2023. She previously interned with HPR in summer 2022.
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