Under the contract, MTM Transit said it will operate every aspect of MTA's paratransit services program, inclusive of paratransit eligibility assessments, travel training, and actual paratransit service provision, according to the agency's news release.
Hele-On offers complementary Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit through its Hele-On Kako'o service.
Services are available to individuals with disabilities who are unable to utilize the Hele-On fixed route bus due to their disability. The system is an advanced reservation, origin-to-destination service, with service available in Hilo, Puna, and Kailua-Kona.
To support its operation of the system, MTM Transit will employ a local staff of 13 teammates, including a project manager, a mobility specialist, four dispatchers, a safety trainer/road supervisor, and six vehicle operators, who will work out of two dedicated offices in Hilo and Kailua-Kona.
This new contract adds to MTM Transit's existing operations in Hawaii, including performing ADA eligibility assessments at The Handi-Van Eligibility Center in Honolulu.
"The Hele-On Kako'o service is imperative to help people with disabilities access the Hawai'i County community and lead happy, healthy, and productive lives," said Scott Transue, MTM Transit regional VP. "We're honored to be MTA's single, trusted partner for eligibility assessments, travel training, and paratransit operations, and look forward to offering MTA and its passengers world-class innovation and a superior customer experience."