STCH is working to change how people get around in Hawaii. When we talk about alternative modes or ‘mode shift’, we are really talking about reducing the number of trips people take in individual cars, also known as the ‘vehicle miles traveled’ (VMT). By switching to less energy-intensive modes of transportation, we can collectively reduce our negative transportation impacts including imported petroleum consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution.
We encourage mode shift by supporting infrastructure, policies, and land-use patterns that will help create a system in which it is easier to get out of your car and travel in other less impactful ways. Other modes of transportation that we support as part of an efficient, clean, safe, and convenient mobility system include:
With over 538 buses in its fleet, TheBus operates more than 100 routes with about 4,200 stops on Oahu every day. It is the island's main means of public transportation with an amazing 72,500,000 annual ridership. TheBus has been voted America’s Best Transit System by the American Public Transportation Association for 1994-1995 and 2000-2001, making it the only mass transit system to have obtained this award twice.
In 2017, all four Mayors in the state set a goal for 100% renewable public fleets. This means they have committed to transitioning the public transit systems in the state to renewable fuels/technologies as well, which will add a multiplier effect to the benefits of using public transit in Hawaii.
Visit TheBus' website to learn more about bus pass pricing and sales locations.
The HOLO Card
The Bus on Oahu has recently launched the Holo Card to make the bus easier to use and touch free. Riders can simply scan the card upon entering the bus and it will automatically pull funds off their Holo Card account. When the card is low on funds, riders can set it to automatically refill from their bank account, or can upload more funds manually online.
Individuals with disabilities who are unable to use TheBus may be eligible to use this alternative public transit service island-wide on Oahu. Reservation is required. Visit the TheHandi-Van website here.
First suggested in the 1960s, the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project was not approved until 2005 and is projected to open the first segment by 2021. Ridership is estimated to be 116,300-weekday passenger trips by the year 2030. The rail is expected to extend from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center—a 20-mile stretch.
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a type of community development that includes a mixture of housing, office, retail, and other commercial development and amenities integrated into a walkable neighborhood and located within a half-mile of quality public transportation. TOD reduces the need to drive as most everyday necessities are within walking distance of a transit station. This means that many people on Oahu would be able to access their homes, work, and shopping needs simply by getting on the train. Bus routes and bike paths will be carefully coordinated within the surrounding TOD areas to maximize convenient access to and from the rail.
Complete Streets, also called Livable Streets, are road networks that are designed to be safer and more attractive to all types of users and commuters, including bicyclists, public transport users, pedestrians, motorists, and riders of all ages and abilities. The Complete Streets program has been shown to encourage walking and biking, lower driving speeds will shortening travel time, and strengthen the community’s economy by increasing land value in the area.
The State of Hawaii requires all counties to adopt a Complete Streets Policy (Act 54, Session Laws of Hawaii (SLH) 2009). The counties are in various stages of planning and adoption of Complete Streets programs in their urban cores.
As the network of bicycle infrastructure continues to expand in Hawaii, biking has become an increasingly viable option for residents and tourists alike. Biking tends to provide improved health and well-being and reduces our petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions. The City and County of Honolulu is working to expand bicycling infrastructure, such as protected bike lanes, on Oahu, which can make biking more safe and enjoyable for residents and encourage increased mode shift. Hawaii’s Department of Transportation offers this current map of bicycle routes on Oahu including Suggested Routes or Novice Bicyclists, Suggested Routes for Experienced Bicyclists, and Routes Which are Not “Bicycle Friendly”.
New bicycles can be registered by the City and County of Honolulu at the main bicycle registration station, satellite city halls, or by mail.
Honolulu’s bikeshare program, Biki, launched in June 2017 and has since expanded to offer 1,300 bikes at 130 locations from Chinatown to Diamond Head. Biki bikes are designed to be easy to maneuver, comfortable, and fun to ride, while accommodating riders of all sizes. They offer a variety of pricing options and a phone app that simplifies the process of reserving and returning bikes.
Bikeshare Kona Hawaii Island offers visitors and residents a variety of plans to participate in Kona’s bikeshare program as well. If you live in, or are visiting, Kona, check out their three stations along Kailua Village and points of interest.
For that extra boost to get you up the hill to your house, electric bikes might be the solution. This new technology is popping up all over the state. Perfect for getting around the islands, e-bikes are highly efficient, space saving, and cheap to operate. Find an e-bike today at any number of shops including:
Bicycle Safety Classes
A common concern of those new to biking in Hawaii is safety. While protected bike lanes can help give peace of mind, we suggest attending a bike safety course as a refresher and to instill yourself with the confidence that you’ll know how to handle any situation that might arise. Find bike safety classes near you through:
Lei of Parks
Imagine a 30-plus-mile multi-use path along Oahu’s South Shore connecting Waikiki to West Oahu that would provide some 600,000 residents with easy access to the island's shorelines and green spaces; a path where hikers, bikers, walkers, and runners could exercise and connect with nature in and around Oahu’s urban coastal neighborhoods.
The Trust for Public Land, together with STCH/Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaii Bicycling League, the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the City and County of Honolulu, and National Park Service trail planning staff, are working to explore strategies that would make this century long community dream a reality.
Below is a map of the Lei of Parks concept plan:
Meet your neighbors, coordinate with coworkers, or learn which of your child’s classmates live nearby. The less individual cars we drive, the less our collective impact. And you might even make some new friends in the process.