Bye bye bus stop

LIHU‘E — Bus riders going from Hanalei to Lihu‘e may have to either walk a little further or dish out a couple extra bucks to get to Walmart.

Route 400 of The Kaua‘i Bus no longer stops at Walmart in Lihu‘e, according to Celia Mahikoa, county executive on transportation .

She said if bus riders want to get to Walmart, they have to get off at Wilcox Memorial Hospital and walk. Another option is getting off the bus at the old Lihu‘e Big Save stop and catch another bus to Walmart — which will cost another fare for those without a bus pass.

A week prior to the change, flyers were posted on buses and also handed out to Route 400 passengers, said Mahikoa, adding that so far the county Transportation Agency has received a few complaints for the “inconvenience” and a few compliments for saved time from those who don’t patronize Walmart.

Kapa‘a resident and frequent bus rider James “Kimo” Rosen said in an email to Mahikoa that he spoke with four drivers, and they all told him the changes made no sense.

“May I suggest you ask your drivers a good alternative stop?” Rosen wrote in the email. “I believe this is one of the most popular drop off spots on the 400 bus and it is something that could easily be remedied.”

Mahikoa thanked Rosen for his input and apologized for the inconvenience. She also said he is still able to access Walmart by catching a bus at the former Lihu‘e Big Save stop.

But according to Mahikoa, any possible changes will not be implemented in the near future.

“After the transportation plan is done next spring, we’ll be restructuring bus routes and addressing Route 400 Walmart access at the same time,” Mahikoa said in an email to The Garden Island.

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