Upcountry Maui residents have started a petition to add more convenient bus service between Paia and Makawao. Despite the two districts being adjacent to each other, the current travel time is over two and half hours on the bus–the same time it would take to travel from Makawao to Kapalua.
This is because the route in place (bus rote 40) first travels to the island’s central hub, Kahului, where passengers must catch the Haiku Islander (bus route 35) to head back Upcountry. An obvious gap in the system, the County of Maui Department of Transportation has approved changes to the route, which would create a new Paia to Makawao route up Baldwin Avenue, and a transfer point in Paia to connect the Haiku Islander with this new Makawao route.
This is a great solution to the Upcountry residents’ concerns, the problem is that it’s part of the Short Range Transit Plan–a plan that formed in 2015 that will not likely go to action for another five years. The full plan can be found here: Co.maui.hi.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/21219
“We, the undersigned, urge the County of Maui Department of Transportation to prioritize the implementation of the planned Paia Town-Makawao Villager Route 38, with an additional stop along Baldwin (approximately one mile down from Hali`imaile Road), in order to serve the agencies in that area that provide important support and services to members of the community,” states inthe petition.
Upcountry residents say this new route is crucial due to the services available for the community in these areas–plagued by geographic isolation and unattainable via public transportation.
Currently Maui has 17 bus routes around the island, and considering the Upcountry service area has the highest increase in population served, a 150 percent increase, residents believe five years is far too long to wait for a proper bus route. Not to mention the parking situations in Paia and Makawao are atrocious, and a bus route would save many people from this headache.
You can sign the petition here: Gopetition.com/petitions/petition-to-add-bus-service-between-paia-and-makawao.html.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons