The Hawaii House of Representatives unanimously passed HB131 HD2, which will create a Task Force on Mobility Management within the State Department of Health to establish a framework to assist elders and individuals with disabilities with transportation needs in rural communities.
Across Hawaii, especially on the neighbor islands, there is a need for a state-wide policy on mobility management to create a plan to assist individuals without sufficient access to transportation and identify the best transportation options, both public and private, for their travel needs.
The bill has received support from the Governor’s Executive Office on Aging, Representatives from Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai and their respective County Offices’ on Aging (Maui County Office on Aging, Hawaii County Office of Aging, and the Kauai Agency on Elderly Affairs).
“Transportation is vital to seniors and those with disabilities; it allows them to maintain their independent lifestyle and access critical services such as medical appointments,” said the bill’s introducer Rep. Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala).
“It is time for us to work on finding the best solutions to address mobility,” she said, “especially in rural areas where transportation options are extremely limited and many residents are without family members nearby to provide transportation and are too frail or disabled to access public transit.”