Maui Business

3 New CDL Drivers Join MEO Transportation

May 2, 2021, 11:07 AM HST
* Updated May 1, 8:19 AM
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Rita Kahaialii, Michael Hager and Benjamin Lagazo.

Three new bus drivers joined Maui Economic Opportunity Transportation after passing their Commercial Driver’s License test on April 26.

Coming from different employment backgrounds, Rita Kahaialii, Michael Hager and Benjamin Lagazo started MEO’s six week CDL training program on March 9. They received hands-on work on school buses, including learning how to conduct an air brake test and a full bus pre-trip safety inspection, as well as driving through a skills course and on the road. The training was done daily, often repeatedly, with the goal of committing the operational procedures and rules to memory and performing the driving maneuvers without error.

At the conclusion of the instruction, all three took and passed the general knowledge, air brake and passenger and school bus endorsement tests to obtain their CDL B license with passenger and school bus endorsement.

This “S” endorsement allows the drivers to operate school buses under stricter licensing requirements. The CDL B license means they can drive larger buses.

MEO runs a training program for prospective drivers to obtain their CDL. Drivers are paid during the training period and offered jobs with MEO after receiving their CDL with S endorsement.

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The 55-year-old Community Action Partnership nonprofit agency runs the Maui Bus ADA paratransit service through a contract with Maui County and operates human services transportation, providing rides for seniors, persons with disabilities, youths and residents in rural areas throughout Maui County.

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