Our ridiculous Fodor’s guide seriously downplayed the buses in Hawaii. Repeatedly it stated that you really needed a car to get around. Sure, cars make life a lot easier in Hawaii, but driving everywhere sucks. It wasn’t until we got to Oahu and took the bus that I really felt like I was on a vacation how I like to vacation. I mean, driving is fun and all, but losing the responsibility, cost, and worry of the car is fantastic, which is one of the reasons I like Europe so much: no car needed. Then of course there is the environmental factor as well. When 30 people are on a bus, you’re simply not polluting as much as if you were 30 cars. So, for folks who are more eco-minded out there, I present a bit about the buses in Hawaii, since it appears no guidebook wants to go there. I just hope that more people will use them and the system will develop more.
Probably the most developed and extensive of all of them and there is a Ferry system that ties in to it as well. At $2 a ride, it’s not the cheapest bus out there, but you can do things like get from the airport to Waikiki without using a $15 a person shuttle. Officially, you’re not supposed to bring large luggage on the bus, but we did and it worked out. We were the only ones doing it unfortunately which goes to show that too many idiots overspend while on holiday and get sucked in to using a taxi from the vultures who constantly ask you if you want a ride.
We saw a good deal of this bus and it appeared to have a pretty regular schedule that ran the whole gamut of the civilized part of the island. The Waimea Canyon can’t be reached with it, but most everything else worthwhile can and it’s only a $1.50 to go anywhere on the route, which is a really long route from one end to the other. The Kalalau Trail is stopped just short of as the end of the line is in Hanalei, but the adventurous can walk the distance and we saw folks doing this. But what I’d really recommend is to rent a bicycle while there and use the bus. They have a space for bikes on the front of the bus and everything short of Waimea can be reached from any of the stops.
HAWAII BIG ISLAND
They have one of the worst websites I’ve ever seen for a bus route, but it is apparently free. We didn’t make it to the Big Island on this trip, so I can’t speak as to any firsthand knowledge. Also, the site doesn’t appear to have a system map, which is a bummer as it appears they have a good many routes and service seems good. It’s something to look in to more if interested and hopefully anyone with more advice might leave a comment below? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink…