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TheBus is the official transit service of Oahu. Buses run regularly through Honolulu and around the island, and the fare is $2.50, which includes a free transfer within a limited time window (ask for this when you board and pay your fare). Visitors should consider getting a $35 4-Day Pass for four consecutive days of travel - they're easily found at any of the ABC stores all around Waikiki and the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Check out Fares for information about monthly passes and sales locations. With 100 routes serving more than 4,000 stops, it is possible to get almost anywhere. Check out Routes and Timetables for more information. There is also a map available under "visitors" with bus stops and route information for specific tourist locations ( such as Pearl Harbor).
Buses are a good way to get from the airport into the city if you don't want to pay for a cab or limo. Routes 19 and 20 take you from the airport to the Waikiki beach and resort area, and stops are about every block or so within that area. Just be careful to check for "Waikiki" on the buses, and not to take the Route 19 bus that goes into Hickam Air Force Base (it will say on the signage) if you're not military, as you'd have to be dropped off at the gate and would need to take a cab from there to wherever you were originally intending to go. When traveling The Bus to/from the airport that there are luggage restrictions. You must be able to stow it under the seat or on your lap.
Route 22 is known as the BeachBus, while Route 52 is the popular island circling route (though it tends to be a pain to ride with all the tourists trying to take advantage of this cheap alternative to a tour). TheBus is an effective way of getting around the different areas of Honolulu, but remember that the term "schedule" may be interpreted rather loosely sometimes. There are also many buses that leave from the Ala Moana Shopping Center to various areas of interest to tourists.
If planning on visiting for more than a couple of days, you should probably rent a car. Parking can be expensive and a hassle, but to get to the North Shore, Pearl Harbor, or many of the other major attractions you might prefer to have an automobile. There are also discount car rental websites. A money saving tip is to do a day rental, returning the car the same day.... let them park it overnight. However, you can get to Pearl Harbor and the Aloha swap meet on the # 20 or # 42 buses.
Online: You can find parking online by searching on this map for Honolulu Parking. Enter the duration of time you will be parking for in the arrival and departure fields to the left of the map and current prices will be calculated and shown for all the parking structures. Click on any of the markers for more information on any of the parking lots (rates, hours of operation, payment options, etc.)
Taxis are available immediately so you can go anywhere on the island on your schedule and not have to worry about bus or shuttle schedules. Taxi drivers know where you're going. If they do not know, they will ask you. If you don't know, at the airport the taxi driver will ask one of his fellow drivers for the exact location that you want. With a dispatch taxi company, the driver will ask for instruction from his dispatcher to take you to your destination.
When you travel by bus, there's always the concern that you may have taken the wrong one, or that you may miss connections if you need to transfer from bus to bus in order to reach your destination. Shopping results in packages to carry. Sightseeing results in souvenirs and collectables. It may be hard to lug all that stuff onto a bus (and may be too much to allow you to board), while taxis can handle the load no problem.
With taxis, you don't have to worry about finding parking, paying high prices to park overnight at the hotel, or finding your rental when you need transportation. Rented cars provide freedom from scheduled transportation, but many visitors find rented cars more a burden than a convenience.
You'll learn things. Most of the taxi drivers are "ambassadors of aloha." The island-born drivers are proud of their island and enjoy pointing out landmarks and places of interest as they take you to your destination. You might even consider a taxi or limo tour of the island's highlights, based on the things that interest you most.
By law, the charges for taxi are set by the City Council. They apply to any taxi or limousine with a dome light on its roof, but not to limousines that are contracted for specific purposes. All rates are established by law and may not be altered by taxi drivers. Most taxi companies will offer flat rates to various locations on the island, or will quote you a flat rate for a destination you determine. If you have special needs, please state them because there may be an extra charge. The rates quoted DO NOT include tips. The general rule for tipping taxi drivers is 15-20% of the fare. If the driver has done something extraordinary, such as help you locate something unusual or find an out-of-the-way location, help you with cumbersome bags or packages, ran an errand - you should consider tipping more. When getting in a taxi, always ask for the approximate fare to your destination or you can look it up online at http://www.taxifarefinder.com/main.ph... When you consider the cost of a taxi, consider the divided cost if two or more of you are sharing a cab. You'll find the convenience far outweighs the cost for a party of 2+. Don't waste time waiting for public transportation. Get a taxi and get going.
There are also plenty of shuttle options: Shuttle bus to/from Waikiki, Aloha Swap Meet, USS Arizona, Waikele Shopping Center, Hanauma Bay and various other attractions offer shuttles for a nominal price. The airport hotels will operate their own shuttle to/from the airport terminals.
The Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki offers airport shuttle to and from HNL for Sheraton Hotel guest only. Reservation must be made with the Sheraton Hotel staying at.\
Hotels in Waikiki do not offer shuttles, but VIP Trans provides transportation from/to airport and from/to waikiki for $12.00 o/w person, $22.00 person r/t (taxes/fees included), but you need to make the booking at least 24 hours before the actual pick up. Also, Speedishuttle services the airport and Waikiki hotels for $14.55 o/w person, $25.94 r/t, plus baggage exceeding the two allowed. Ko'Olina Resort does have a shuttle, which you need to arrange with the resort. In addition, taxi cabs are plentiful, and reasonably priced - you might even find yourself taking a limo, since they are often the same price!
Finally, numerous trolleys run between Waikiki and Ala Moana shopping center, and to other locations. These trolleys are largely aimed at Japanese tourists, and some visitors may find them unnecessary.