Blessing Held for New MEO Transportation Facility, Buses
By Maui Now Staff
A crowd of about 125 dignitaries, staff and community partners joined Maui Economic Opportunity in a blessing celebration for its new transportation facility in Puʻunēnē.
Groundbreaking for the $23 million project was held nearly two years ago.
The transportation facility was built on a 10-acre parcel partially donated by Alexander and Baldwin at the hub of the Hāna, Mokulele, and Kūihelani Highways in Kahului.
In a press release statement, MEO chief executive officer, Lyn McNeff thanked those who helped make the project a reality saying, “Without the help of those who came before me, the community partners such as A&B, Stacy Otomo Engineering, Maui Architectural Group, Chris Hart and Partners and Goodfellow Bros., as well as the support of our state and county legislators, and our board and staff, this would not have been possible.”
She said, “Despite the many obstacles to getting this project completed, it was definitely worth it when staff expressed their gratitude.”
Organization executives say it took more than 30 years for MEO to find a permanent location for the operation.
MEO annually provides over $5 million of specialized transportation services in Maui County.
The agency’s vehicles travel over one million miles annually, and were used to provide almost 300,000 trips in 2011.
According to the announcement, the next phase of the project will be to build an onsite bus wash, install an emergency generator, secure funds for a maintenance facility, and seek proposals for an onsite fueling station.
Organization executives say MEO currently leases space for its maintenance operations paying about $12,000 per month in rent.
“Securing funding to build a maintenance facility on the Puʻunēnē property would realize savings over a period of time. This savings could be used for additional services or the money could be used to fund other county priorities.”