Hawaii Travelogue: A Japan away from Japan [Ch.13: Transportation in Hawaii]

By | July 6, 2017

This article is a part of series of articles about my 2017 trip to Hawaii. Please see the table of contents that contains links to other chapters.

Transportation in Hawaii

We used Lyft Taxis for a majority of our travel within Waikiki and the surrounding areas, and buses a few times as well. We stayed away from Uber since right around that time we heard news their CEO had quit for some reason. The city buses were pretty cost-effective and gave good views of different parts of the city, though once or twice it seemed a bus got delayed 10 or 20 minutes from the schedule. I heard there is a train system under construction in Honolulu, but supposedly is is behind schedule and seriously in the red (赤字).

A few times it took the Lyft driver over 20 minutes to find us, either due to unfamiliarity with the area or GPS issues. If you are getting picked up from a shopping center, make sure you tell the Taxi exactly where you are since GPS doesn’t seem to be accurate enough on its own. I guess this type of stuff applies to other states or countries as well though.

As for payment, of course Lyft takes credit cards and the buses took cash only ($2 or $3 per two rides). Once or twice we used a local Taxi which was cash-only, but this information was posted on the back on the front seats, so make sure you have a valid form of payment before you take off.

There are trolleys of different colors that go around Waikiki (https://waikikitrolley.com), but one of the times we tried to search for the pink one we gave up after 20 minutes since it wasn’t clear where the stops were. But there is a detailed map with all the lines which should be sufficient if you have the patience.

Of course there is always the option to rent a car, and there was conveniently a Enterprise car rental place right across the street from our hotel. It’s always a good rule to reserve your car a little in advance. We didn’t, and they were out of all Japanese cars, with only two car styles remaining. We ended up with a Mercedes Convertible. Reasonably nice car, but around $200 for a single day (ouch!).

There are also stations and stores where you can rent bicycles in Waikiki, but we didn’t try those out on this trip. In addition there seem to be Segway tours that look pretty fun, though I am not sure if they would allow small children to ride.

While driving and walking around we caught sight of many small boats, some which looked like canoes. If you are into that type of stuff I am sure you would be able to find some exciting water activities to do in Waikiki.

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