A new eight-passenger bus to transport East Maui residents to their jobs, shopping in Central Maui and medical appointments was blessed at a ceremony Friday attended by more than 20 people, including Maui Economic Opportunity drivers and staff, Maui County officials and riders.
The $155,000 bus, funded by the county, was blessed by Kahu John Kahalehoe on a warm clear morning at “Stonewall Square” in the center of Hana town. He also blessed the drivers – Mary “Kaui” Brook, also MEO Hana Branch Manager; Karen Redo; Viola Diego; Tuks Medeiros and Lani Kawaiaea.
Attending the event were County Council Member Shane Sinenci, whose residency district includes East Maui; Leo Caires, Mayor Richard Bissen’s Chief of Staff; Kauanoe Batangan, deputy director of the Transportation Department; and Debbie Cabebe, Chief Executive Officer of MEO.
The 58-year-old nonprofit runs the specialized Human Services transportation system on Maui, including East Maui; Lana‘i and Moloka‘i, through a grant from the county. MEO transports qualified riders at no cost to them to their jobs, shopping, medical appointments and youth and kupuna activities.
MEO’s new eight-passenger bus, funded by the County of Maui, was blessed Friday in Hana. Shown in this group photo are (from left): MEO Transportation Director Patty Copperfield, driver Lani Kawaiaea, Maui County Deputy Transportation Director Kauanoe Batangan, driver Viola Diego, Mayor’s Chief of Staff Leo Caires, driver Tuks Medeiros, Kahu John Kahalehoe, MEO Hana Branch Manager Mary Brook, driver Karen Redo, and County Council Member Shane Sinenci.
MEO driver Viola Diego talks with Council Member Shane Sinenci before the blessing of the new eight-passenger bus for East Maui.