- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - Big Island public transit riders who use the Hele On bus system are beginning to see improvements that were promised with a 2013 fare hike.

Mass transit administrator Tiffany Kai says two new mechanics began working over the summer, which means there’s less downtime when buses need repair.

West Hawaii Today (http://bit.ly/1AR18qr) reports three new buses arrived last month. The new buses were purchased with federal funds at a cost $450,282 each and are operating on Hilo and Pahoa routes.

Hawaii County also received five used buses from Honolulu’s TheBus system.

The county increased one-way fares last year by $1 to $2. Free rides ended for students, seniors and people with disabilities and the age to qualify for a senior discount was raised from 55 to 60.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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