Collaboration allows students to use Hele-On pass to get to school

Hawaii County has formed a partnership with the state Department of Education to help alleviate student transportation issues on Hawaii Island caused by a shortage of school bus drivers and routes.

The collaboration between Hele-On and the DOE will allow students who live near an existing Hele-On route to get to and from school by way of a Hele-On monthly pass.


To access this bus pass, submit a school bus application to the school office or online via eTrition. A student’s ID number is needed to apply online at

If a child’s application was previously approved and put on a waitlist, parents can contact the school to request a Hele-On bus pass.

After the school reviews the application, parents will be notified if the application has been approved. It takes approximately two weeks to receive their Hele-On bus pass.

Eligibility is available to all middle/intermediate and high school students on Hawaii Island for whom seats on existing school bus routes are not available, students eligible under Hawaii Administrative Rule 8-27-5; and students who qualify for free transportation.

Those who do not qualify for free transportation will be required to pay the $72 quarterly bus pass fee, which will include Hele-On bus passes for three months, a value of $135.


“When parents contacted Hele-On looking for alternatives to getting their child to and from school, we immediately contacted DOE to see how we can help within the existing design of the Hele-On transit system,” says John Andoh, interim Mass Transit administrator. “We also recently launched the new routes as designed in the 2018 adopted Transit and Multi-Modal Transportation Plan which provides more access to DOE schools, island-wide with more routes and more frequency.”

To learn more about how to ride Hele-On and the routes and schedules, visit Schedules and route maps are available online at or by calling 961-8744, option 1. Maps and schedules also can be picked up from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Mooheau Bus Terminal, 329 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo.

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