Car / Taxi / Bus, Oahu
THE CONGESTED TRAFFIC WILL BE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION IN THE EARLY MORNING.. SO YOU ARE OK..MOST OF THE TRAFFIC WILL BE COMING INTO HONOLULU ( TO GO WORK )..BUT YOU WILL BE HEADED AWAY FROM HONOLULU ..SO IT SHOULD ONLY TAKE YOU THAT 44 OR MORE MINUTES TO THE EWA SIDE...
Who needs a car on this island when the bus system is so great and reliable? After trying it once I didn’t even think about using a car instead, although I had this possibility.
Their transfer system is well organized and for just $2 you can go to the other side of the island and back again.
It works very simple, you get on the bus and pay $2 (slide in the machine right next to the bus driver), if you’re planning to go back within next 3 hours or change to another bus line simply ask the driver for a transfer ticket. Once you board the second bus simply give this ticket to the bus driver.
The transfer ticket has time on it, the very top numbers indicate the time by which you must use it. And although it says everywhere that the transfer time is 2 hours, you’ll find out that you have much more time.
If you'd like to head up to North Shore for a day of surfing and what not, be aware that you will probably need to rent a car for the day. If you decide to take the transit system, the ride can take 3-4 hours what with all the stopping to pick up and drop off passengers. If you don't want to rent a car, see if your hotel has some type of non-stop shuttle that goes straight ot North Shore.
The Bus is cheap and will take you almost anywhere on the island. I like using when I go hiking. You can travel around the island for $1.00 USD. You can also buy a 4 day unlimited pass for $10.00.
Recommend you visit their website in order to find out the timetables for different routes.
Another neat thing is that the buses have bike racks on the front. So if you do go biking and you get tired, just hope the bus back.
The best way to get a true feeling of all Oahu has to offer is to rent a car. Then head away from Honolulu. You can rent a compact car for as little as $116 a week. This is a great rate compared to other cities. HNL is serviced by all the major rental companies. Traffic can be a bear in the city so do be careful. With 3 major highways on Oahu getting around is pretty easy just be sure to get an up to date map
The beauty of an island never lies just in what is a walk from your hotel.
Also the great part about a small island, like O'ahu, is you can pretty much drive around most of the island in about a day.
My girlfriend and I got up early one morning and drove around half the island and got an absolute eyeful of what the island had to offer: we had a fab lunch at a local fav shrimp shack, saw Laniloa, a pennisula of Hawaiian folklore, watched surfers warm up for a local competiton along the North Shore and watched endangered Green Sea turtles make their way onto the shore to sunbathe at Turtle Bay.
Of course this is only a small sample of what we saw during our car tour.
All in all I think a car is the way to go, but you don't have to take my word for it.
You can just sit there on the beach with your fruit machine drink if you like.
Waikiki is like any major cities with rush hour traffic. They have a good bus system and you can get around in honolulu and waikiki without having to rent a car. Plus, you'll probably have to pay parking if you are staying in a hotel. However, we suggest renting a car for a day or so to go outside of waikiki.
If you're staying in Waikiki and don't have a rental car, a cheap way to take a tour of the island is to catch the "Circle Island" buses from Ala Moana center. Adult fare is $2.00 and includes 1 transfer. From Waikiki, take the #8, 19, 20, 42, or 58 bus and transfer to the #52 or #55 Circle Island bus at Ala Moana center. The ride takes about 4.5 hours, but will give you a beautiful view of the Windward and North Shore, less touristy parts of the island. A 4 day visitor pass is also available for $20.
I am adventurous. But I will say that driving in Oahu was more trouble than driving in China, Thailand, New York, Paris, Rome. Not that it is scary in the sense that people drive fast and out of control, or that it is the opposite side of the road if you are from North America. It is because people are not conscious when they drive.
The street signs change randomly, and they will close off the highways randomly if a leaf falls the wrong way, and it will take you all night to find your way back to your destination. If you are staying in Waikiki or Honolulu there is no parking WHATSOEVER.
If you are in town to go surfing on the North shore in the winter or to travel around the island as a family, meet people or take a tour bus.
When you ask directions, people will give Hawaiian directions. If you want to know what this means ask me and I will try to explain it.
Honestly, I came to the Island to visit friends and family. I got lost. Multiple times. And downtown parking is expensive and almost impossible.
Take a tour or hire a guide or find people to drive you around. In the long run it will save you time and money.
The "Aloha Maps of Hawai'i" is a great free publication that I picked up from a kiosk in the airport terminal. It has road maps that are much more detailed than what you would get from a car rental agency, a nice map of Waikiki, maps of the state's major airports, a listing of beaches with life guards, and driving directions and detailed maps of the resort areas of the islands showing hotel and beach locations. I'd recommend picking one up (especially because its free)!
When we headed eaterwards on H-1 and around the eastern shores, we rode for a while on the north shore, but being three days out of the hospital ran out of steam along the way. A good thing to remember is the highway marked H-3. It cuts smack dab through the center of the mountain and offers a breath taking ride. We took it south to Honolulu and back to the hotel for rest.
The net day, wanting to continue the loop around the north side of the island, we conveniently just took H-3 north, and continued where we left off.
If you want to go around Oahu and you are really short of time, then you have to rent a car. We rent a compact and it turned to be a Ford Focus. Remember that Hawaii is United States, so compacts are not like in Europe.
On a whole day you can drive all around Oahu and visit the major beaches of the North Shore.
Traveling can be exhausting as we all know. I realised that sometimes treating yourself to a bit of luxury can really help the trip to go smoothly. Such was the case with our recent Oahu trip. We knew we were not going to rent a car for this trip, driving in the city of Honolulu and Waikiki can be a nightmare. And we really did not want to wait for a bus or shuttle to take us to our hotel (along with 30 other passengers and their hotel stops) We had little time on this trip and we wanted to make use of it all.
I found a terrific company called, Hawaii Car Service. Not only did they meet us prompty at the airport (our flight was late so they monitored it and arrived to take us over to our hotel.)
They also offered a flower lei service $6.00 a piece versus most other private car companies who were charging $26.00 and up for flower leis!!
Our drivers (to and from) the airport, were most courteous and well versed in how to avoid traffic and get us to our destination.
The cost is moderately expensive but we considered it well worth it as we were able to get to our hotel and back to the airport with ease.
TheBus...the name says it all!!! If you are looking for an effective (and cheap...$2.00) way to get around town, then this is the way to go. We have taken it 4 times to go out to eat as well as from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor (Arizona Memorial).
Since we had a hotel in Waikiki, we figured that we would not need a car for the entire time we were in Honolulu (took TheBus or the Waikiki Trolley). But since we also wanted to get out and explore the island, we rented a car for two days.
Your best bet is to reserve over the internet...we did and paid $24.00/day (including all taxes) for a Subaru Forrester (an upgrade over the compact we requested). And we rented from the Enterprise in Waikiki (445 Seaside Avenue/Suite C) rather than from the airport...saved some more money.