Honolulu, Hawaii has one of the best public transportation systems in the nation. The bus system in Hawaii actually ranks in the top 10 cities for the best transportation based on its high ridership per capita in the city, according to US News.

A lot of people ride that bus

In fact, almost 216,954 people ride the bus every week on average, according to TheBus.org’s 2015-2016 statistics. That’s a lot of people given that the approximate population of the entire state is about 1 million people, so that’s almost 20% of the state utilizing the public transportation system! Because of this, the state spends a lot of money on the system. The system has about 62 standard routes but also has 32 extra express routes for the mornings and afternoons. It costs $1.25 for youth to ride the bus per ride and $2.50 for adults. There are monthly bus passes available that save money for someone in the long run who rides the bus as their daily source of transportation. There are about 518 buses in the fleet (as of 2013.)

Mayor Fasi

Mayor Fasi contributed to the development of the bus system. This might be the reason why high school students often call it “Uncle Fasi’s limousine service.” Due to the fact that there is no free school bus system like many places on the mainland, a lot of students (high school students, primarily,) chose to ride the bus to and from school, and frankly all around the island for that matter.

IMG 0019 by Sun Brockie is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original.

The legislature recently (in the last 5 years,) approved the building of a massive rail-transit system in hopes of alleviating traffic on the island. O’ahu has some of the worst traffic in the country despite its efficient public transportation system. The rail transit system would run from West to East along the south shore of the island, the area that is primarily congested.

TheBus on your phone

The Bus has an app that you can download on your iPhone and Android to find bus routes for your needs. My favorite aspect of the app is the fact that it actually tracks the next bus that’s coming so one can physically see where it is along the route and approximately what time it will be at your stop.

The Bus also has several features like it’s wheelchair-accessibility, bike racks and also has smaller vans such as TheHandi-Van. The Handi-Van is for elderly, handicapped people to use for personal rides to and from public places like the shopping mall or coffee shop. It’s helpful for elderly individuals who live at home with their caretakers and are unable to drive but are still interested in going out of the house. My grandma used TheHandi-Van every once in a while. It’s important to place your request for the van in advance and follow-through on actually using the ride. The Handi-Van is required to deem people eligible or not through an interview and application process. After that, I’m unsure as to the cost of the transportation services because it is a private taxi service.