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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Schools open new year with fee increases

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Public school bus fares and meal prices go up today as the state begins imposing higher fees to help offset budget shortfalls.

Advertiser library photo

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Higher school bus fares and meal prices go into effect today as Hawai'i public school students return from winter break.

The school bus fare is 75 cents for a one-way trip, up from 35 cents. Quarterly passes increased to $60, up from $31.50.

School meal prices also will increase today, in accordance with a measure passed by the state Board of Education in July 2009. Regular student breakfast now costs 95 cents, up from 35 cents. Students on the federal reduced-cost meal program will pay 30 cents, up from 20 cents.

Lunch will cost $2.20, up from $1.25. And reduced-price lunch increased from 20 cents to 40 cents.

Due to the recent cuts to the Department of Education budget and increasing costs for student transportation, the distance that secondary students must reside from school in order to qualify for public school bus service will increase from 1 mile to 1 1/2 miles. The policy change affects only about 1,100 students on Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui and the Big Island.

The DOE also will discontinue public school bus service for high school students on select O'ahu bus routes where the city's TheBus provides service.