How to Get Around on the Islands

Once you’ve landed on the islands, how do you get around? For the more adventurous or budget-conscious, the public bus is one option available on Oahu, Maui, The Big Island and Kauai. Of course, if you can swing it, renting a car is your most practical option. There are also group tours to transit you from point A to point B, a private trolley service and taxi service.

  • The Bus
    • Public bus system on Oahu
    • Routes are extensive
    • Reaches all major attractions
    • http://thebus.org/default.asp
    • Info: 808-848-5555, operating 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
    • Adult fare: one-way is $2.50, includes one free transfer
    • Children under 5 ride free
    • Four-day pass is $25
      • Four consecutive days of unlimited bus rides.
      • Honored on all regular and commuter express services
      • Sold at:
        • ABC Stores in all Waikiki locations
        • Ala Moana Center ABC Store
        • 7-Eleven location at Ena Road (1901 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815)
        • Atkinson (1695 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814)
      • TheBus Pass Office on Oahu (Kalihi Transit Center, Corner of Middle St. and Kamehameha Hwy, 611 Middle St., Honolulu, HI 96819 – 808-848-4444)
    • Monthly pass is $60
      • Sold at the TheBus Pass Office on Oahu (Kalihi Transit Center, Corner of Middle St. and Kamehameha Hwy, 611 Middle St., Honolulu, HI 96819 – 808-848-4444)
      • Foodland stores on Oahu
      • 7-Eleven stores
      • Satellite City Hall
      • UH Manoa – Campus Center
      • Hawaii Pacific University Book Store
      • Chit Chat Store on Bishop Square
      • Times Supermarket
    • Annual pass is $660
      • Sold at TheBus Pass Office (Kalihi Transit Center, Corner of Middle St. and Kamehameha Hwy, 611 Middle St., Honolulu, HI 96819 – 808-848-4444)
    • Group tours
      • Roberts Hawaii
        • One of the popular tour operators
        • http://www.robertshawaii.com/
        • Coach bus service
        • Organized group tours
        • Sightseeing excursions to popular destinations on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and The Big Island
        • Operates an airport shuttle
      • Waikiki Trolley
        • Private trolley and bus system with three lines (red, green and pink lines)
        • On Oahu
        • http://www.waikikitrolley.com/
        • Double-decker bus tours
        • Scenic tours, historic tours, shopping tours and island tours
        • Fun way to get around Oahu’s major sites
        • Seven-day explorer pass: $55 adults and $19 for children ages 4-11
        • Four-day pass: $49 adults and $17 for children ages 4-11
        • One-day pass: $19 adults and $9 for children ages 4-11
        • Other passes to different lines and locations available
        • Can be bought in advance on its website
        • Can buy on same day as travel from hotel’s concierge, ticket booth at DFS Galleria Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian Center
      • The Kauai Bus
        • http://www.kauai.gov/default.aspx?tabid=58
        • Public bus system on Kauai
        • 3220 Hoolako St., Lihue, Kauai 96766
        • 808-246-8110
        • $2 per trip
        • $12 for seniors older than 60 years old
        • $1 for youth 7-18 years old
        • Children under 6 free
        • Monthly pass is $25
      • Maui public bus
        • Public bus system on Maui
        • 808-871-4838
        • http://www.co.maui.hi.us/index.aspx?NID=605
        • $2 per ride
        • Unlimited daily pass is $4
        • Monthly pass is $45
        • Student pass is $30 with valid school ID
        • Senior pass is $25 (55 years and above)
        • Children under 2 ride free
      • Hele-On Bus
        • http://www.heleonbus.org/
        • Main office is 1266 Kamehameha Ave., Suite A-2, Hilo, Hawaii
        • 808-961-8744
        • Public bus system on The Big Island
        • $1 per ride
        • Monthly pass is $30
        • $7.50 for a sheet of 10 tickets
        • Free for students through college
          • Must show valid and current student ID
        • Free for senior citizens 55 and older
          • Must show valid ID (license, senior citizen ID card or other government-issued ID card)
        • Free for disabled individuals
      • Rent a car
        • Most convenient option
        • Hawaii is a car culture (stores and restaurants and sites will have parking lots)
        • About $100 a day, depending on the type of car and discount
      • Taxi
        • Not plentiful in areas other than Waikiki, so you can’t just flag down a taxi from the street
        • Operates like car service
        • Usually call the taxi service, and they come pick you up
        • The Cab
          • Popular company
          • 808-422-2222
          • Serving Oahu
          • First ⅛ mile or fraction is $3.10
          • Each additional ⅛ mile or fraction thereof is 40 cents
          • Each 45 seconds of waiting time or fraction thereof is 40 cents
        • Charley’s Taxi
          • Popular company
          • 808-233-3333
          • Serving Oahu
          • Charley’s initial meter drop is $2.80.
          • City & County maximum is $3.10
          • 10% discount to seniors, military personnel and all emergency responders

Ideally, visitors should rent a car for the most convenience. However, there are public bus services available on most islands. You can call a taxi service, take a group tour or take the Waikiki trolley. The options are numerous.