The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) says progress is being made by school bus contractors to address the current shortage of Commercial Driver Licensed (CDL) drivers on Maui and Kauai qualified to operate school buses.
The latest updates are as follows:
- Lahainaluna High School’s bus route FR 11A and FR 11B will be restored to service on Monday, August 21. Two other routes servicing the school remain suspended.
- The single route makes two morning runs. The first serves the Kapalua area on Lower Honoapiilani Road from Kapalua Drive, beginning at 6:33 a.m., and drops off students at the school at 7 a.m. The second morning run on Ainakea Road begins at Kaniau Road at 7:10 a.m. and drops off the second set of students at 7:25 a.m.
- In the afternoons, the route will make two runs from the school as route FR11BP at 1:55 p.m. to Ainakea Road and a second run at 2:30 p.m. as route FR11AP to the Kapalua area.
- Lahainaluna High’s restored route is in addition to two routes already operating that also service Lahaina Intermediate and Princess Nahienaena Elementary Schools. The first runs to Honokahau Valley and the second to the Olowalu area.
- School bus routes servicing more distant communities will be prioritized as more routes are restored.
- Maui’s shortage of qualified school bus drivers is currently at 11, down from 20 two weeks ago. Routes at Lahainaluna High, Baldwin High, and Iao Intermediate have been temporarily suspended and routes have been consolidated to adjust to the staffing shortages. Several driver candidates are currently in the licensing process and routes will be restored as they enter service.
- Kauai’s shortage of qualified school bus drivers is currently at eight, down from 10 two weeks ago. School bus routes have been consolidated to adjust to the staffing shortages and all schools are still being serviced. Several driver candidates are currently in the licensing process and routes will be restored as they enter service.
For a limited time, school bus contractors are offering hiring bonuses and increased wages. Interested CDL drivers should contact the Student Transportation Services Branch at (808) 586-0170 as soon as possible.
Interested drivers without a CDL are also being sought. The CDL training and testing process is open and takes approximately three weeks to complete.
“The Department is working hard with our school bus contractors to return affected routes to service and we anticipate more routes to come online in the coming weeks,” said Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “We truly appreciate the patience shown by our parents, students and staff during this time.”
For questions about school bus registration, route or service concerns statewide, please contact the Get On Board Hotline at (808) 586-0161.