Public Transportation in Honolulu

When you are planning a trip to Honolulu, one of the biggest factors you will need to consider is how you will be getting around the island of Oahu. Many visitors choose to rent a car but that can be an expensive option that will cut into your overall vacation budget. However, if you want to save money on transportation and reduce your carbon footprint, then the best option is to use the Honolulu public transportation system.

Public transportation in Honolulu is mostly based around their bus system, appropriately called TheBus. TheBus runs throughout Honolulu and the rest of Oahu with 103 routes and over 4,000 stops across the island, so riders can reliably get wherever they need to go in a reasonable amount of time. In fact, the Honolulu city bus system is ranked as one of the best in the world. Learn more about the public transportation options offered in Honolulu to prepare for your next trip.


As the official Honolulu public transit service, TheBus runs regular routes through the city and other parts of Oahu. Riding the city bus in Honolulu is a sensible option for going from the airport into the city, especially if you don’t want to spend too much paying for a taxi. There are routes that go to the beachfront resorts, into downtown Honolulu and to most popular attractions on the island.

For instance, Routes 19 and 20 are perfect for getting a bus from the Honolulu airport to Waikiki beach and the beachfront resorts. Plus, there are multiple stops along the way, so you can get off the bus whenever you need to. Another popular bus route is Route 52 which goes in a circle around the island, making it a good way to get a general tour of the area. For more information about bus routes and timetables, visit the official website for TheBus.

The Honolulu bus fare is an affordable $2.50 and this price includes a free transfer as long as the transfer occurs within a limited time window. Riders who are planning on transferring can ask for the time window when they board TheBus and have paid for their fare. TheBus provides residents and visitors to Oahu with an affordable way to navigate the city using Honolulu public transit.

Visitors to the island also have the option to purchase the four-day Honolulu bus pass for only $35. These passes are perfect for tourists and can be purchased at most ABC stores in Waikiki in addition to the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Travelers who plan on using TheBus as their primary transportation during their stay are encouraged to purchase a four-day bus pass.


The Department of Transportation Services provides an additional Honolulu public transportation service known as TheHandi-Van for people with disabilities who are unable to use TheBus. This service can be generally be accessed by riders from anywhere on the island on Mondays through Sundays from between 4:00am and 1:00am.

Riders can also take advantage of an all-day TheHandi-Van that is available in the nearby areas within three quarters of a mile of Route 2 and Route 40 of the Honolulu city bus public transit service. The Honolulu bus fare to ride TheHandi-Van is $2.00 per rider for each one-way trip. The fee can be paid using cash or with a fare ticket purchased from TheBus Pass Office which is located at the Kalihi Transit Center.

Waikiki Trolley

If you want a convenient transportation option in Waikiki that will take you to most of the popular attractions in the area, then the Waikiki trolley is an affordable choice. Although the trolley route is not as far-reaching as TheBus service, it does stop by most of the attractions that Waikiki has to offer. Visitors can also purchase tickets that will give them unlimited trolley rides for a specified period of time, making the trolley a good alternative to the Honolulu city bus.

The Waikiki trolley works on a unique system where riders are able to hop-on and hop-off at any stop in the trolley’s line, which provides a lot of flexibility for getting around the area. Taking the trolley can be an effective way to visit all of Honolulu’s hot spots without spending too much money. Some popular destinations of the Waikiki trolley include:

  • Diamond Head State Monument
  • The Honolulu Zoo
  • The Waikiki Aquarium
  • Sea Life Park for a dolphin experience
  • The Pearl Harbor Memorial
  • The Ala Moana Center
  • Royal Hawaiian Center
  • Waikiki Beach Walk
  • DFS Galleria

Honolulu Airport Shuttle Buses

Honolulu is a tropical paradise and is consistently among the most popular vacation in the world every year. Visitors usually arrive to the island at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and will need to get downtown to one of the many hotels and resorts in the area. Local providers offer Honolulu airport shuttle services to help travelers get between the airport and several hotels in the area at an affordable price. Many luxury hotels and resorts will offer their guests a private shuttle that will pick them up from the Honolulu Airport.

Other Transportation Options in Honolulu

For travelers looking to avoid public transportation in Honolulu during their trip, the most popular option is to rent a car. Renting a car in Honolulu can be a great decision because it allows visitors to travel around the island without having to work around their public transportation schedule. Most of the major car rental providers such have a location at the Honolulu airport, making it a convenient option for many travelers.

However, it is important to keep in mind that renting a car can have additional expenses such as gas and parking costs. Most hotels and resorts in Honolulu will charge up to $35 each day to park a car. Although it can be convenient to rent a car and be able to get around independently, the cost of renting a car in Honolulu can quickly add up. Learn more about renting a car in Honolulu before deciding which transportation option is best for your tropical vacation and your budget.