We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bus vs rental car

Wasilla, Alaska
Level Contributor
966 posts
106 reviews
Save Topic
Bus vs rental car

Can you really get around in Oahu with the bus? I am trying to keep my trip cost down where I can and save my money for other things. I would also like to know that if I can take a bus around the island, can I get to many of the attractions and beaches?

Honolulu, HI
Level Contributor
505 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Bus vs rental car

4-day unlimited bus passes are $20, and a monthly pass is $40. You can get around, but it can be a hassle for visitors who are not familiar with all the routes and times.

Please rent a car, it will be worth every cent. You will be able to see a lot more, and the experience will be 100 times better.

Duluth MN
Level Contributor
284 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Bus vs rental car

While it's possible to get around on The Bus as my wife and I did four years ago, having a car (as we did two years ago) gives you a certain freedom which is tough to find otherwise.

The only pain in the buns is having to pay the daily parking fee which most Waikiki-based hotels charge.

Lee

("only" 234 days to go!)

Columbia, South...
Level Contributor
1,143 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Bus vs rental car

The Bus would be great for you if:

- You have a limited budget

- You don't plan to use a car much

- You don't want to deal with parking and/or gas

- You don't want to have to worry about your rental getting broken into or otherwise damaged

- You enjoy seeing parts of town that you might otherwise never travel if you were driving

- You get stressed out driving in unfamiliar cities

- You don't want to have to worry about getting lost or getting perfect directions

- You enjoy chatting with locals

- You drive a lot at home and would welcome a break from being behind the wheel

The Bus would not be a good fit if:

- You plan to spend all day out shopping and want to stow your stuff in your car (at your own risk, of course)

- You are uncomfortable being around people who may not have the same amount of money or education as you. (Sorry if that sounds brash, but we all know people who avoid riding buses for that reason alone)

- You hate having to wait for anything for any reason

- You have extremely limited time to be on Oahu, and a "must-see" list that is a mile long

- You can't stand for people to be in your "space" (bus can get packed during peak times)

- You plan to make lots of spontaneous trips to Wal-Mart

- You plan to go places that are not on the bus route

I'm sure others could think of more pro's and con's...

Toowoomba, Australia
Level Contributor
809 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Bus vs rental car

TheBus is extemely well organised and the price is great !!

Yes you can go Circle Island with TheBus and being tourists ourselves, we had no problems finding which number bus to catch for different venues.

We got our timetables from McDonalds on Kalakaua Ave....they had heaps all the different bus route timetables and they are all well explained for the tourist !!

Have a great trip.

Kailua, Hawaii
Level Contributor
1,725 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Bus vs rental car

Okay---I've posted this before but maybe it's time to post it again.

Read it and decide if it's how you'd like to spend your very hard-earned vacation time:

starbulletin.com/2004/…story1.html

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
26,375 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Bus vs rental car

Rent a car the entire time. You can see the island much better.

By the time you pay for airport shuttles, cabs, buses & tours that you could do on your own, you won't save any $$. Plus you will have spent hours on or waiting for slow public transportation.

Lots to do on Oahu:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29222-i37-k647862…

Wasilla, Alaska
Level Contributor
966 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Bus vs rental car

Wow! Thanks to all for your timely posts. Even though you all have differing opinions, it really helps. I will be submitting additional posts in the upcoming weeks as I am planning our trip for our September arrival.

Columbia, South...
Level Contributor
1,143 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Bus vs rental car

Interesting article, KMama. I agree that a rental car would be best for the circle tour, if only for one day it would still be worth it!

Once again, Dusty and I respectfully disagree on the car vs bus issue. I came out WAY ahead with the $$ by using public transit and while it was slower, my husband and I never once felt like we were wasting our time. It was all part of the adventure, and we had a lot of fun with it. We also found it to be quite liberating to not have to drive since we do that every single day anyway! I printed off the routes and schedules before leaving home so I had it all figured out before I got there. Easy as pie.

For 5 days (and traveling out of Waikiki during 4 of those), we spent less than $80 total for the 2 of us. If you're trying to watch your spending and don't want to blow money unnecessarily, the Bus can be a great deal. Some people don't understand that mindset of still being careful with money even while on vacation -- and if you are one of those, you will never understand my position on the Bus. The cost of a renting a car for an entire stay in Oahu simply would not have been worth it to us for what our priorities were.

Kihei, HI
Level Contributor
502 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Bus vs rental car

I have lived on Oahu with and without a car, and here is my opinion. The Bus is absolutely fine for getting around within the city -- Waikiki, downtown, Ala Moana, University. It's a good bus system. You can even call The Bus and tell them where you are and where you want to go, and they will give you directions over the phone. Great service and good value for intra-city travel.

BUT going longer distances -- north shore, Waianae, even Pearl Harbor or Hanauma Bay by bus is what I consider a bit of an "ordeal". Waiting, transferring, slow travel and constant stopping. For out of town expeditions I would greatly prefer to drive. If you really dislike driving or really are on a budget, it can work, but consider two things.

1) Car rental in Honolulu is actually not very expensive (though, parking in Waikiki is a pain), so figure exactly how much you will save once you pay for bus fare and also airport shuttles or taxi (can't take your luggage on the bus). And 2) getting around by bus takes a lot longer than by car. You are paying a lot of money on this vacation -- is it really a good value to spend your limited time on a bus?