Getting Around Oahu: TheBus

Alright so last week we featured the Waikiki Trolley as a popular means of transportation on Oahu. For this post, we’ll go over the bus system – and yes, our bus really is just called “The Bus.” Laugh all you want but if you think about it, naming it thus was actually a fantastic idea for such a highly trafficked international tourist area.

The Bus

The Honolulu bus system is ranked as one of the top transit systems in the world. You can get almost anywhere on the island by bus, although of course in some cases it doubles the commute time that would be required by a car. It’s also incredibly simple – if you’re an adult, a one-way fare is $2.50 but with each paid cash fare you receive a transfer that’s valid for up to two hours. This means that if your route requires more than one bus, you can use the transfer for the connections and avoid paying again. You can technically make it from Waikiki to the North Shore for $2.50. For youths (age 6-17) the one-way fare is $1.25. For visitors with a valid U.S. Medicare card or a valid Person with Disability ID Card, the one-way fare is only $1.00. Children under 6 are free as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult (1:1 ratio) and not occupying a seat. For all fares, exact change is required.

If you are going to be staying on island for a few days and think that you will be using the public bus pretty frequently, you may purchase a 4-day pass for $35. Note that this is good for 4 consecutive days – not just any 4 days. The passes are sold at ABC stores in Waikiki and at the Ala Moana Center as well as TheBus Pass Office at the Kalihi Transit Center.

Although the bus is a terrific transportation option, keep in mind that it is not necessarily ideal for every situation. For example, we get a lot of guests asking if they can take the public bus from their hotel to the airport. The answer is yes, but only if you don’t have any suitcases. There is nowhere to store them, therefore they would be blocking the aisles. Also be aware that during heavy commuter times (start and end of work day) the buses tend to get pretty full and it can be difficult to obtain a seat. If you have a health condition that would make it problematic to have to stand on the bus, or if you are traveling with a group, the bus may not be the most convenient choice.

Below are some of the bus numbers that guests typically need to know. For more detailed route and schedule information, check out the website:

Bus #2: Honolulu Museum of Art and the Bishop Museum

Bus #8: Ala Moana Shopping Center

Bus #13: Historic Honolulu and Chinatown

Bus #19/20: Airport (no luggage allowed onboard)

Bus #20/42: Pearl Harbor

Bus #22: Hanauma Bay

Bus #23: Diamond Head and Sea Life Park

Bus #55: North Shore (must first get to the Ala Moana Center)

Have questions about fares, specific stops, routes or timetables for TheBus or other modes of transportation in Hawaii? Contact Elite Concierge at 808-971-1943 or


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s