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Superintendent Hayashi 9/12/22 Parent Letter: Pilot Program- EXPRESS


September 12, 2022

Aloha Parents and Guardians,

I am pleased to share that the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has launched a pilot program with the four counties to expand subsidized county bus passes for high schoolers in grades 9-12. The pilot program - called EXPRESS, which stands for Expanding Ridership to Educate Students in Schools - aims to help mitigate the impacts of the national school bus driver shortage.

Through this program, current HIDOE high school students can sign up for a county bus pass at no cost. Applications will be available online at starting today, September 12, 2022, through May 26, 2023, the last day of school for students.

More than 21,000 students - or 47 percent of high school students - who are currently ineligible for transportation services because they live too close to their school campus will now be eligible for services under the EXPRESS program. The goal of this program is to increase overall high school student ridership on county bus services so that underutilized school buses can be reassigned to restore canceled and consolidated routes.

Approved applicants will receive their county bus pass directly through their school over the next few weeks. Oahu student riders will receive one county pass that will be valid through July 2023. Students on Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Island will receive passes good for each month through July 2023. For Hawaii Island families, public transit on the county’s Hele-On Bus is already a free fare service that can be utilized at any time.

Students who have already paid for a second quarter pass or bus coupons may request a refund after receiving their county bus pass. School bus refund requests should be made only after receiving the county bus pass to avoid premature deactivation of the school bus pass. School bus refunds can be found at

Please note that parents will be responsible for locating the nearest county bus route to and from their child’s school, and for finding the safest walking routes to and from the nearest bus stops. For public transportation safety resources, tips, and frequently asked questions, please visit our website at

Mahalo for your continued support of our Hawaii public schools.



Keith T. Hayashi




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