PRINCEVILLE – County officials report that response to the new North Shore Shuttle service that will move residents and visitors between North Shore resorts and popular visitor destinations in the area has been great.
“We’ve gotten a number of calls from people expressing their excitement about the shuttle service. Some residents plan to use it to go to and from work, while employees in the hotel industry said that the service will reduce traffic and enhance the visitor experience,” said Kauai County Economic Development Director George Costa.
The soft launch held Tuesday marked the initial phase of the rollout of the shuttle service.
“Currently, the shuttle is operating on a limited basis for the next two weeks. Only concierges and other resort staff are riding the shuttle so they can familiarize themselves with the service and the timing of the stops can be finalized,” said Costa. “We’re going to start offering the full service to the public on Nov. 1.”
The North Shore Shuttle pilot project is a partnership between the County of Kauai, Kauai Economic Development Board, Princeville Development Reignwood Group, Kauai Visitors Bureau, several Princeville-area resorts, Hanalei to Haena Community Association and Experience Kauai.
Experience Kauai will operate a 14-passenger van and a 15-passenger shuttle, seven days a week. The vehicles will accommodate coolers, boogie boards, beach chairs and umbrellas.
The van will be used primarily between Hanalei and Haena to cross the Wainiha bridges, while the shuttle will be utilized for the Princeville to Hanalei route. The shuttle service is schedule to operate between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Geoffrey M. Culverhouse, manager of Ching Young Village shopping center, said he liked the idea of a shuttle service but was concerned it might not receive a lot of use.
“Americans like to use their own cars and not be dependent on the bus schedule,” he said.
Introductory fares of $2 each way for visitors and $1 each way for kamaaina will be offered during the first few weeks of operation to create awareness and ridership.
“Since this is a new service, it will be a ‘work in progress,’” said Costa. “We want to utilize the next two weeks to work out some of the major details and fine-tune the service over the next six months. We want to try our best to serve North Shore residents, as well as our visitors who love the area.”