The four major Hawaiian Islands all have their own bus services; schedules and how convenient the bus is for getting around varies by island and your specific needs. Here’s a quick rundown.

The bus is a green, convenient, and affordable way to get around.On O‘ahu, TheBus (808/848-4500) provides island-wide transportation, including from the airport. If you’re planning on riding the bus from the airport to your hotel, keep in mind that your bags have to be able to fit under the seat or on your lap without protruding into the aisle. There are several bus stops on the second level of the airport on the center median. Route Nos. 19, 20, and 31 access the airport, and Route No. 19 eastbound will take you to Waikiki. Fares are $2.50 for adults, $1.25 children ages 6-17, children 5 and under are free if they sit on an adult’s lap. The Visitors Pass, a four consecutive day pass, is $25 with unlimited use. Call 808/848-5555 for route information.

TheBus in Waikiki is an easy way to get around.

Riding the bus from the airport to your hotel? Your bags have to be able to fit under the seat or on your lap without protruding into the aisle. Photo © Simon Clancy, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

The Maui Bus (808/270-7511) system has eight routes for an inexpensive way to get around to the major towns. Fares are $2 per boarding or $4 for a day pass, and monthly passes are also available. Although the bus does run to the airport, riders are not allowed to board with luggage that can’t fit under their seat. For a full listing of island bus schedules refer to the timetables on the website.

The Kaua‘i Bus (808/241-6410, 5:27am-10:40pm Mon.-Fri. and 6:21am-5:50pm Sat., Sun., and holidays) runs island-wide, with stops from Hanalei to the west side. The bus is a green, convenient, and affordable way to get around. The last stop in Hanalei is the old Hanalei courthouse, so the bus doesn’t go out to the end of the road, and on the west side it runs to Kekaha, not out to Polihale. Fares are $2 for adults, $1 for children and seniors. Monthly passes are also available.

On the Big Island, the Hele-On Bus operates daily routes all around the island. The main bus terminal is in downtown Hilo at Mo‘oheau Park, just at the corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Mamo Street. There are a number of intra-Hilo routes with additional intercity routes to points around the periphery of the island, but these all operate on a very limited schedule, sometimes only once a day.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.