School bus pass applications and payments can now be processed online, the Hawaii Department of Education said in a news release Monday.

While paper applications and in-person payments are still available at school offices, the new online application and payment system for student transportation will “provide not only a more convenient and efficient process, but also improve safety with a contactless experience for families,” Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said in a statement.

The DOE’s release said the development of the online service was in the works prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wahiawa school bus rolling along California Avenue.
The DOE will no longer offer an annual school bus pass plan, just a quarterly plan and one-way passes. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

Parents who need school bus service for their kids can complete a form online and submit payments using EZSchoolPay. A temporary bus pass can then be printed at home, with a permanent bus pass card available at the child’s school up to a week after payment.

The “uncertainty” of the COVID-19 situation, however, is changing some things up. The DOE has temporarily removed the annual school bus pass plan option — keeping just the quarterly plan or one-way bus coupons.

It’s also reduced the cost of a sheet of 10 one-way passes from $12.50 to $10.

Families who only used a portion of the 2019-20 school year bus passes or have unused bus coupons from that year can seek refunds, according to the DOE.

Students who ride the school bus will be required to wear a face mask, as will the bus driver, per the DOE’s school reopen framework. “High touch points” will be cleaned and sanitized after each route, the department said.

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