Train / Trolley / Tram, Oahu
We made the decision not to rent a car while on Oahu mainly because the city traffic is so bad, about the fifth worst in the nation!
The Trolleys were started back in 1986 by a Japanese Tour company to help Japanese tourist get around. They became quite popular and today, there is a fleet of more than 50 trolleys.are different routes that can take you shopping or sightseeing. The different lines are colored to take you to your desired destinations.
On our visit in 2012 we discovered the trolley lines have shrunk drastically due to the extremely high fuel prices. It is still a worthwhile ticket to purchase if you are going to be in Waikiki for 5 days or more. It just does not go as far around the island as it used to.
Take the Honolulu City Line (Red) to explore the cultural and historic background of Hawaii. Stops include the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii Maritime Center and take the Green line to Kahala Mall where there is a Whole Foods martket! Just make sure you know what time the last trolley is otherwise you will be out of luck! It is not a cheap cab ride back to Waikiki either. Great drivers make the trolley a lot of fun. A great way to see the island for very little money.
The Shopping Line (Pink)) will take you to Aloha Marketplace and Waikiki's Kalakaua Avenue, where a variety of eateries and stores are offered. You can also use it to go to the Ala Moana Shopping Mall and the Wards Center.
An all day pass runs about $25.00 but look in all the coupon books there is usually 2 for 1 coupons to be had.
Update: 2012: The trolley operations are now out of the DFS (Duty Free Shopping building). This is the main "terminal for trolley tours. I was able to book a 7 day pass that was for 2 people for $90
If you decide you'd like to see a bit of O'ahu but you really don't want to rent a car, then hop on the popular bus #52 Wahiawa-Circle Island which will take you to places like Pearl Harbor, Waimea, Sunset Beach and Turtle Bay as well as circuling around the east part of the coast as it makes its way back to Waikiki.
You can get on the bus and not get off which will take about 5 hours, or you can stop at any of the locations mentioned above. The bus operates daily from about 6.30 a.m. until 8.30 p.m.
For a more detail description of the buses and locations, check out the link below.
Offering four convenient, educational and affordable sightseeing lines to an array of Oahu's most popular destinations. The Waikiki Trolley is your ticket to over 40 fun stops of sightseeing, entertainment, dining and shopping throughout Oahu.
Pier 31791 North Nimitz HighwayHonolulu HI 96817
It's fun to ride the 34-seat, open-air, motorized Waikiki Trolley which looks like a San Francisco cable car. It loops around Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, stopping every 40 minutes at 12 key places: Hilton Hawaiian Village, Iolani Palace, Wo Fat's in Chinatown, the State Capitol, King Kamehameha's Statue, the Mission House Museum, Aloha Tower, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii Maritime Museum, Ward Centre, Fisherman's Wharf, and Restaurant Row.
Don’t miss the touristic trolleys, they are open to the side and they go slow so you can take photos. A Japanese company runs them (what a surprise!) and
the cost is $30 for a day pass($27 online price) and $52 for 4day pass($43 online price).
They do four different routes that might interest you (some focus on shopping, some others in sight seeing and they are colored in different colors to recognize them):
The Red Line (Historic Honolulu) runs through the culture/history background of Honolulu.
The Yellow Line will take you to shopping centers, Aloha Tower etc while the Pink line goes to Ala Moana, the epicenter of shopping in Oahu.
The Blue Line (Scenic Honolulu) runs towards the Sea Life Park, very useful for Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay.
Travelling around by trolley is fun to do ... at least once. Sometimes there's a fee, sometimes it's a courtesy ride. Either way, do it just to say you did it! Trolleys travel to Ala Moana shopping center, to Waikele Outlet Mall, to Mighty Mo, all around Waikiki and many other places around the island.
The Waikiki Trolley has been driving people around since 1980 and covers some of the major historical attractions and shopping. There are 4 main routes: Honolulu City Line/Historical Tour (Red); Ocean Coast Line/Panoramic Tour (Blue); Scenic/Diamond Head Tour (Yello) and; Ala MOana Shoppin Shuttle (Pink).
Depending on your travel plans, there are day and multi day passes and different price ranges. Check out their website for a full detail of prices (i.e. a combo day pass for red and pick is $25 per adult, $15 per child 4-11).
I personally didn't ride the trolley, but this can be a good way for any visitor to travel.
An inexpensive and easy way to get around O'ahu is by TheBus. You can get to just about anywhere in O'ahu. The fare per ride is $2 and a free transfer is provided if needed which can be used within two hours.
There is also a Visitor's Pass which provides free-unlimited rides for a 4 consecutive days. The passes can be purchased at any ABC Stores in Waikiki and the price of a visitor pass is $20.
The Pink trolley is either free if you stay at certain hotels (the Ohana chain included) or $2 if you don't. It runs a regular route around Waikiki with its key destination the Ala Moana Shopping Center. The trolley normally gets packed so don't be surprised if you have to stand.
Staying at an Ohaha hotel we had a stop at the front door to very easy off an on however, keep an eye on the route it takes. The trolley goes in and around Waikiki so a stop 50 metres from your hotel may in fact get you home a lot earlier.
The Waikiki Trolley takes you to Oahu's major tourist attractions and more...a great way to save money (don't need a rental car is staying in Waikiki or Honolulu) and no need to worry about traffic. We went to a breakfast orientation and got a free pass for the day. With it, we took the trolley from Waikiki to the Ala Moana Mall, the Aloha Tower, Chinatown, Iolani Palace and the Hawaii Supreme Court.
When on your first visit to Waikiki, ask your hotel to tell where you can pick up the Free Trolly to Hilo Hatti's., and the time of pick up. O.K. you have to go to this large shop , but you do get to orientate yourself on the way to and from the store in Honolulu,
Photo Joan Johnson
This is really nice to have a train ride available for children and older folks .
A very nice ride it is going quite the distance.