- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - Newer and more reliable transportation is coming to transit riders in Kauai County.

The county purchased 20 new buses that will be used to replace older ones in the Kaui Bus fleet. The total number of buses will remain unchanged at 56, reported The Garden Island (http://bit.ly/1KhNYus) Tuesday.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. said the new buses would be a benefit to the community.

“The new buses will improve the reliability of our transit services, as well as reduce the expense of frequent repairs required with older vehicles,” Carvalho said.

The buses were purchased with grant money from the Federal Transit Administration, which paid 80 percent of the total cost. The agency provided $2.3 million and the county paid close to $592,000.

The recommended lifespan of a municipal bus is 150,000 miles. On any given day, there are three-to-four buses that are out of service due to maintenance and repair needs.

In addition to the buses, the county has also announced a fare increase that will start July 1. The current cost to ride is $35 for a monthly pass and $350 for an annual pass; those prices will rise to $40 for a monthly pass and $400 for a year.

Jackie Griswold, who rides the bus every day, said she isn’t a fan of the price increase.

“I appreciate the bus - if it wasn’t there I don’t know what I’d do,” Griswold said. “Now I don’t know if it will be in my budget but I’ll work it out.”

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Information from: The Garden Island, http://thegardenisland.com/

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