Amidst car shortage, county launches transportation resource website

LIHU‘E — The county Office of Economic Development announced the launch of a new website aimed at informing both visitors and residents of various transportation options available on Kaua‘i. was created in response to the current rental-car shortage on Kaua‘i, but has a broader goal of providing people with the resources they need to make more-sustainable transportation choices.

OED, in collaboration with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, set out to implement actions in the Kaua‘i Destination Management Action Plan, specifically those to reduce traffic and develop education materials.

Visitors to Kaua‘i often rely on a rental car as their primary mode of transportation. With the current shortage of rental cars, many visitors are now seeking alternative modes of travel. Up until recently, the transportation options were limited, and there was no central place to find them.

This new website will be regularly managed, updated and improved as more transportation options become available.

“During the pandemic, our residents were given a glimpse of what life is like without the influx of cars on our roads, and there’s no denying how much traffic had improved,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said in a press release.

“As we continue to recover, we see the opportunity to do better in managing visitor impact, and that includes implementing transportation-mode change on our island.”

The intent of this new website is to show visitors they can navigate Kaua‘i without renting a personal vehicle for every day of their trip, and it will continue to be improved for residents who are exploring other modes of travel as well.

“Our goal is that this new website will serve as a resource to connect travelers with transportation alternatives, such as airport shuttles, ride-shares and bike rentals,” said Nalani Brun, OED director. “This rental-car crisis can become an opportunity for us to shift away from the mindset that the only way to get around Kaua‘i is with a personal vehicle.”

The website includes an overview of transportation options, a map with Kaua‘i bus stops and routes, regional walking guides and other tips on how to get around Kaua‘i without a car.

Weekly blog posts will educate readers on transportation-related topics, such as how to reserve an airport shuttle, parking permit requirements for Koke‘e State Park, and details regarding the Hanalei access schedule.

The website also includes a section on “How to Travel with Aloha,” which provides tips and recommendations from a local perspective.

“Educating visitors about traveling responsibly is key to addressing tourism’s impacts and enhancing the well-being of Kaua‘i’s communities,” said John De Fries, HTA president and CEO. “We encourage travelers to utilize this comprehensive website when planning their trips, and are sharing it widely with our Global Marketing Team and visitor-industry partners to amplify the information.”

  1. Sue July 21, 2021 7:27 am Reply

    Great idea…. But please do not allow large buses on Koloa and Poipu roads. So scary to see those large tourist buses going fast on narrow roads while tourists are walking and riding bikes on the same roads …. Small 15 passenger buses would be ok,

    1. manongindashadow0711 July 21, 2021 4:35 pm Reply

      We had it in the old days.(tour buses, cars, cyclist) on narrow roads, And before the pandemic up to present time, we have the same situation travelling on Koke’e Road goingto the lookouts(Waimea Canyon , Kalalau)
      Try driving up there, “you’ll see what I mean!”

      1. manongindashadow0711 July 21, 2021 4:39 pm Reply

        Add speeding semi trucks, too!

  2. Joe Maka July 21, 2021 7:36 am Reply

    How much did this cost? How will the ROI be measured? Instead of creating another website they should have collaborated with existing tech, like UBER.

  3. Payback July 21, 2021 11:08 am Reply

    Apparently the car shortage is why Uber drivers are unavailable for so many.

  4. Turo July 21, 2021 5:56 pm Reply

    More rental cars on the roads is the last thing our infrastructure needs. Would be nice for the site to include Turo as a sustainable option. Keeps the money local and supports local residents as opposed to channeling money to international corporations while adding thousands of rental vehicles to our already congested roads.

    1. DEMinSoCAL July 22, 2021 4:39 am Reply

      Future tourist here — let me tell you, Turo is not the solution. It has evolved into a huge money-grab where the rates for used, questionably maintained cars and no-guarantee availability when you arrive have matched the prices that the far more trustworthy car rental companies were charging.

      It’s too bad the people of Kauai have decided to fleece tourists who are coming back (you DID want that after a year of no tourism, didn’t you?). My God…residents charging $200+/day to tourists for their personal 4 door sedan? I’ll keep my money, thank you.

  5. mark July 21, 2021 7:45 pm Reply

    Just this afternoon saw a very large bus on Lawai Road in Poipu dropping off passengers at the Beach House. This bus had to weave between cars and people- the bus was crossing the center line of the road…. so very dangerous….

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