Bus shelters on the way

HANAMAULU — Kauai County Council member JoAnn Yukimura said it’s heartbreaking to drive by the bus stops and see riders, especially kupuna, exposed to the elements.

Yukimura was among the nearly 30 people on hand to dedicate Phase III of the Island Wide Bus Stop Redevelopment Project in Hanamaulu on Wednesday as a deplaning Kauai Bus passenger made her way among the throng.

“Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. had bus shelters as one of his goals in his Holo Holo vision,” said Celia Mahikoa, Kauai transportation agency director. “This project will have 22 bus shelters erected at different sites by the year’s end. The county’s Public Works department is key to getting the work done on time.”

Lyle Tabata, acting county engineer, said the project is going to be handled by Cushnie Construction and Alaea Construction and is expected to cost about $880,000. Some of the funds will also be used to install photovoltaic/storage lighting on some of the existing shelters.

“The last time we expanded on the bus was in 2011,” Yukimura said. “We are able to expand because of the collaborative efforts between the state and federal agencies working with us. This is important because this helps the elderly who can’t use the bus unless they are able to sit (while waiting on the bus).”

Yukimura said the Kauai Bus also helps the economy because some people can’t get to work without it.

The funds appropriated for Phase III are part of a $2 million package which was secured from the state Legislature, said Kaleo Carvalho of the mayor’s office.

Kauai County Council member Derek Kawakami said when they owned and operated the Big Save stores, they always considered bus stops in front of the stores as amenities.

“It’s nice to see the impact of our work at the Legislature,” Kawakami said. “This is for our island’s keiki and kupuna.”

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