County, KCC reach bus partnership

 LIHU‘E — A six-month pilot program to encourage Kaua‘i Community College students to ride The Kaua‘i Bus was launched at the KCC campus in Puhi.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and KCC Chancellor Helen Cox signed a memorandum of agreement that will allow KCC students to use their student identification cards as bus passes and ride The Kaua‘i Bus free of charge.

“We‘re hoping this pilot will translate into a long-term agreement that will encourage KCC students to use public transportation well into the future,” said the mayor. 

“Our young people are tuned into making ‘green‘ choices already,” he said. “All we have to do is support and enable that responsible behavior.”

Under the terms of the MOA, the county will waive bus fees for students carrying a valid KCC student ID through Feb. 21, 2012, as authorized in the Kaua‘i County Code, Section 17A-1.2(e).

Bus ridership will also be tracked on a daily basis by the county, while KCC will promote the program.

“I’m delighted that KCC can join with the county to create this program and I am proud of Ian Ross and the other students involved for actively pursuing it,” Cox said.

“This important milestone for both the mayor‘s Holo Holo 2020 vision and the college sustainability initiative will truly make a difference for our students and the island community.”

KCC student Ian Ross, the coordinator of Youth Advisory Committee to the Mayor, said he is excited about this opportunity for students and their families.

“Fortunately, we have a responsive mayor,” said Ross. “I look forward to seeing where this partnership leads to in the future.”

During the pilot, KCC and the county will evaluate the effectiveness of the program, with the goal of negotiating a reasonable annual fee for KCC to pay the county for students using the bus service with their student IDs rather than purchasing a bus pass.

Increasing bus ridership is part of Carvalho’s Holo Holo 2020 vision for Kaua‘i, which calls for all organizations, businesses, residents and visitors on Kaua‘i to be part of creating an island that is sustainable, values the native culture, has a thriving and healthy economy, cares for all – keiki to kupuna – and has a responsible and user-friendly local government.

To see the entire list of initiatives visit the county’s website at www.kauai.gov/mayor.

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