While bus service is not as practical on some of the Neighbor Islands, getting around by bus is a convenient and affordable option on Oahu.
You can go all around the island or just down Kalakaua Avenue for $2.50 on Honolulu's municipal transportation system, affectionately known as TheBus. It's one of the island's best bargains. Taking TheBus in the Waikiki and downtown Honolulu areas is especially easy, with buses making stops in Waikiki every 15 minutes to take passengers to nearby shopping areas, such as Ala Moana Shopping Center.
You're entitled to one free transfer per fare if you ask for it when boarding. Exact change is required, and dollar bills are accepted. A four-day pass for visitors costs $25 and is available at ABC convenience stores in Waikiki and in the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Monthly passes cost $60.
You can find privately published route booklets at most drugstores and other convenience outlets. The important route numbers for Waikiki are 2, 4, 8, 19, 20, 58, and City Express Route B. If you venture farther afield, you can always get back on one of these.
The Waikiki Trolley has four lines and dozens of stops that allow you to design your own itinerary while riding on brass-trimmed, open-air trolleys. The Honolulu City Line (Red Line) travels between Waikiki and the Bishop Museum and includes stops at Aloha Tower, Ala Moana, and downtown Honolulu, among others. The Ocean Coast Line (Blue Line) provides a tour of Oahu's southeastern coastline, including Diamond Head Crater, Hanauma Bay, and Sea Life Park. The Blue Line also has an express trolley to Diamond Head that runs twice daily. The Ala Moana Shuttle Line (Pink Line) stops at Ward Warehouse, Ward Centers, and Ala Moana Shopping Center. These trolley lines depart from the DFS Galleria Waikiki or Hilton Hawaiian Village. The Local Shopping & Dining Line (Yellow Line) starts at Ala Moana Center and stops at Ward Farmers' Market, Ward Warehouse, Ward Centers, and other shops and restaurants. A one-day, four-line ticket costs $30. Four-day tickets, also good for any of the four lines, are $52. There are discounts when ordering online.
In Waikiki, in addition to TheBus and the Waikiki Trolley, there also are a number of brightly painted private buses, many of which are free, that will take you to such commercial attractions as dinner cruises, garment factories, and the like.
TheBus (808/848–5555 or 808/848–4500. www.thebus.org.)
Waikiki Trolley (808/591–2561 or 800/824–8804. www.waikikitrolley.com.)
Maui Bus, operated by Roberts Hawaii, offers 10 routes in and between various Central, South, and West Maui communities, seven days a week, including all holidays. Passengers can travel in and around Wailuku, Kahului, Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, Kihei, Wailea, Maalaea, the North Shore (Paia), and Upcountry (including Pukalani, Makawao, Haliimaile, and Haiku). The Upcountry and Haiku Islander routes include a stop at Kahului Airport. All one-way tickets are $1.
For travelers who prefer not to rent a car, Maui Bus is a great way to go. It runs from early morning to late evening daily, and stops at most of the major towns and sightseeing destinations. And, you can't beat the price. Maps and schedules are available online.
Maui Bus (808/871–4838. www.mauicounty.gov/bus.)
The Kauai Bus operates a route from Hanalei (on the North Shore) to Kekaha (on the West Side) daily except Sunday. It runs once each hour from early morning until the evening, and provides a lunchtime shuttle around Lihue. The fare is $2. Children six and under travel free.
The Kauai Bus (808/246–8110. www.kauai.gov/transportation.)
In Hawaii County, the Hele-On Bus provides public transportation around the island, including a four-hour trip from Kona to Hilo (each way) three times each day. The fare is $1, or $7.50 for 10 tickets. The county Transit Agency offers a shared-ride taxi program that provides door-to-door service. Participating companies charge as little as $2 per person for trips between one and four miles and as little as $4 per person for trips between four and nine miles (the longest trip covered by the program). Fares are paid with prepurchased vouchers. Maps, schedules, and taxi details are available online.
Hele-On Bus (808/961–8744. www.heleonbus.org.)
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