As the cost of gas increases, many more people are turning to public transportation. Oahu has a public bus system that is cheap, efficient, and takes away the hassles of driving and finding parking. Here, we give you tips on how to determine your route and ride The Bus around Oahu.
First, you should determine your route. Although the bus system is pretty comprehensive, there are some places where you might need to walk a long distance or catch a ride to the bus stop. Prior to your journey, look up the bus route on The Bus homepage. If you enter your starting and ending address and departure times they will give you the bus stops and transfers you need to reach your destination. It's important you enter the correct departure time because different bus numbers run on different schedules.
Buses are equipped with bike racks on the front and can hold up to 2 or 3 bikes. If you are traveling with a bike, simply stand with your bike by the bus stop. Once the bus stops, make eye contact with the driver to indicate you will place your bike on the rack. The bike rack is fairly easy to operate: simply lift up and pull down to lower the main rack. Once the rack is down, position your wheels in the bike rack and lift up the wheel lock to secure your bike in place. Unfortunately, drivers cannot come out to assist you with your bike, but if you're struggling another passenger will usually be friendly enough to give you a helping hand.
Once you know your route , you can make your way to the bus stop. All bus stops have yellow identification signs. Larger bus stops may have shelter or a bench, but smaller stops will only have a sign. Sometimes there is a stop identification number that you can use to determine when the next bus will arrive. Most buses are equipped with GPS so you can enter the stop number (or cross-street identification) on the HEA site to determine the next bus arrival if you have not pre-planned your route.
Before the bus arrives, make sure to have the appropriate fare ($2.50 as of 04/2012) and change. Bus drivers typically will not provide change. Pay attention as buses arrive. Buses will display the route number at the top front of the bus. When you see your bus number, step up and wave to the bus driver so he or she knows to stop to pick you up. When you enter the bus, simply deposit your fare in the fare box. If you will be transferring buses, make sure to ask for a paper transfer as you enter the bus so you only have to pay the fare once.
Once on the bus, find a seat. If no seats are available, find a secure spot to hold on. The buses tend to run cold, so bring layers if you have a long bus journey. Keep in mind no food or drink is allowed on the bus, and drivers will notice if you try to sneak food!
The stops are typically announced over the bus PA system. When your stop is approaching, simply pull on the cord to indicate you'd like to stop. If it's your first time riding the bus or you are confused about which stop to take, ask the driver or fellow passengers. Most people are friendly and willing to help out. Once your stop is reached and the bus has come to a complete stop, you are free to exit the bus. If you will be removing your bike from the rack, it's important you let the driver know so he or she doesn't drive off with your bike on the bus. If you have another bus to transfer to, simply present your paper transfer ticket on the second bus instead of paying a bus fare.