Buses, Bikes or Boots: Getting Around O‘ahu Without a Car

Posted in: Editor's Blog, Things to Do

By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor

TheBus is not only convenient, but it's also a good value

One of the prices of living in paradise is the traffic we on O‘ahu have to contend with. For the last several years, Honolulu’s traffic woes have ranked among the worst in the nation.

Fortunately, we have a number of alternatives to driving. Keep these in mind and you may manage to avoid a little traffic and a bunch of stress. You’re on vacation, after all!

There are, of course, the countless tour shuttles and trolleys that take you directly from your hotel to Activity X. Letting someone else take the wheel while you ride comfortably in an air-conditioned bus to the Polynesian Cultural Center is what vacations are all about. But maybe a tour package isn‘t in your budget, or perhaps you just want a more grounded approach and get around as the locals do.


TheBus is not only aptly named, but it’s also received national awards! Pretty much wherever you are on the island, a bus will run through or near there. A 1-Day Pass gives you unlimited rides for 27 hours, and only costs $5.50. That’s easily the best bargain in town.

Schedules for all routes are available on their website and you can find the nearest bus stop and track real-time arrivals via their convenient mobile app.


If you don’t want to wait around for the next bus, you can apply some pedal power to get you where you need to go. Biki is a bikeshare program where you can borrow a bicycle for a small fee. They have an app that makes finding an available bicycle simple—and with 130 docking stations around Honolulu, one’s never very far. Waikīkī also has a number of bike rental kiosks operated by private rental companies. Look around, see what works for you.

One of the 130 Biki docking stations located around Honolulu

Boots (or sneakers, slippahs, etc.)

And of course, you can’t beat ol’ reliable foot power. If you’re in Waikīkī, metro Honolulu, or one of the pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods like Kaimukī, this may be your preferred mode of transportation. Walking also offers you some of the best views, since you’re more likely to see something that you’d completely miss from inside a vehicle.

My opinion? Try a combination of all three. Take a bike to that cool little boutique or cafe, then explore the neighborhood on foot and indulge in some retail therapy or sightseeing. After you’ve worn yourself out, take a load off and ride TheBus back to your hotel.

Sure, maybe getting around without a car will take a little more time, but it beats the stress of being stuck in traffic. Plus, the environment—and your wallet—will appreciate the break.


Keywords: bus oahu oahu public transportation biking oahu bikes honolulu walking honolulu bus pass oahu bus system mountain biking Hawaiian style rentals bus routes oahu Hawaii vacation walking tours day pass downtown honolulu


TheBus is not only convenient, but it's also a good value


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