Did you know that there is no public transportation between Makawao and Paia? It’s true! Currently, locals and tourists, without a car, have no choice but to travel through Kahului to reach one town or the other. There is only seven miles of distance between them, but it currently takes one transfer and about two hours of traveling by Maui bus.
A group of concerned local Organizing For Action (OFA) volunteers recently started a petition to show support for adding this service. What we found out is that this route has already been approved by the Department of Transportation for inclusion in the Short Range Transit Plan and named the Paia Town-Makawao Villager Route 38. However, it has been pushed back five to seven YEARS because it is considered a low priority. But, we need it now!
First, it will provide safe transport for Upcountry kids to get to the beach and Pa’ia Youth and Cultural Center (rather than hitchhiking). Second, with a bus stop at 1931 Baldwin Road (which is conveniently out of the way so traffic can continue), the bus stop would provide convenient access for those living, working or visiting family at the important service organizations located near there. These include Maui Youth & Family Services, Aloha House, Malama Treatment Center, Maui Job Corps, and The Maui Farm. And third, public transportation is simply a good thing for communities, especially ones that are becoming over crowded. We especially look forward to less traffic, less hitchhikers, and more parking in Paia!
For more information on what we can do to get this bus route started you can follow our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/paiamakawaobus. Here you can find a link to our online petition and get updates on how to sign in person.
We welcome your feedback and volunteers who can help get more signatures!
Mahalo nui loa!
The Paia Town – Makawao bus route petition was started by a group of Maui women who found each other through Organizing for Action. We joined OFA with the common goals of wanting to make a difference and do good in our local community as well as connect with other concerned citizens. At a time when much of national public policy feels out of our control, engaging with our local community feels empowering and uplifting. We decided to put our efforts into this particular project because it is a non-partisan way to improve the lives of so many people here.”
Image Credit: Britten LaRue