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Hele-On and Hawai'i Public Schools Partnership

In response to driver shortages that the entire nation is experiencing, the Hawaii State Department of Education (Department) has established and continues to pursue alternative strategies for regular education school bus transportation. The Department has partnered with Hawaii Island’s Hele-On Bus to provide bus passes for students to use their public transit at no additional cost to eligible families.

Hele-On and Hawai'i Public Schools has formed a new partnership which will allow students who live near an existing Hele-On route to be able to go to and from school! Hawai'i Public Schools will provide the student with a Hele-On monthly pass.

If you would like to request this transportation option for your child, please follow these steps:

1. Submit a school bus application to the school office or online via eTrition. (access here)  Please note you will need your student’s ID number to apply online; 

2. If your child’s application was previously approved and put on a waitlist, you may contact the school to request a Hele-On bus pass;

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

     Students eligible for the HeleOn bus pass include: 

     a. Middle/intermediate and high school students on Hawaii island for whom seats on existing school bus routes are not available; 

     b. Students eligible under Hawaii Administrative Rule §8-27-5; and 

     c. Students who qualify for free transportation will remain free. 

     Students 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 (value of $135). 

4. Review Hele-On Bus routes on their website to identify possible routes and times at which your child(ren) can take before and/or after school. Check their website frequently for updates and notices. If transfers are required, please contact Hele-On directly. Please note that Hele-On is a mass public transit system and does not drive onto school property, therefore your child(ren) will need to get off at a stop within close proximity to their school. Hele-On Buses are safe and staffed with well-trained drivers, however use of these bus passes is left to the parent(s)/guardian(s) discretion. 

Families will be responsible for identifying appropriate routes, stop locations, and times. Students must be visible at the bus stops five to ten minutes before the scheduled arrival and wear face masks properly covering both their mouth and nose at all times while on the bus and at bus stops. 

Students will be responsible for their passes as lost and/or damaged cards will not be replaced.  

To learn more about how to ride Hele-On and the routes and schedules, please visit Bus Schedules and Maps.

To see which route serves your school, please visit here.