Hawaii Uber and Lyft Guide
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services are increasingly popular ways of getting around, especially on vacation. Services like these are convenient ways to explore Hawaii when they're available. However, accessibility varies from island to island and city to city. On Oahu, for instance, you can find an Uber or Lyft almost anywhere whereas, on islands like Kauai, they are much more scarce.
We’ll cover different service areas here, as well as approximate costs and options when rideshares are not available.
Uber and Lyft in Oahu
Oahu is much more developed than the other Hawaiian Islands and has the largest population, so Uber and Lyft are readily available from most areas. Uber and Lyft are both allowed into the airport pickup and dropoff areas, well. You won’t have to wait long when you order a rideshare service from the airport -- they take about 5-10 minutes to arrive.
Getting to the airport via rideshare is almost always possible on Oahu, as well. However, keep in mind that they're less available and more expensive when demand is high, so if you’re leaving around rush hour or on busy days, plan accordingly. Also, outside of the Waikiki/Honolulu, you may have longer wait times for your car -- give your driver at least 10 minutes to arrive.
A rideshare from the airport to Waikiki and Honolulu hotels will cost around $30-35, getting to Ko Olina costs about $55 and getting to Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore costs upwards of $90.
Uber and Lyft on the Big Island
Rideshares are easy to get from the airports and in the two major cities on the Big Island -- Kona and Hilo. These can take you just about anywhere on the island within reason. Uber and Lyfts from more remote areas might not be possible, however. If you’re leaving more populated areas via rideshare, be sure you have another way home.
Getting to a hotel or accommodation in Hilo from the Hilo Airport can run you about $15. If you’re staying near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, getting to the town of Volcano from the airport will cost about $60. If you’re looking for a ride from Kona Airport, you can get to downtown Kona for about $20. Getting to lodging in the Puako area from the Kona Airport will cost about $60.
Uber and Lyft in Kauai
Uber and Lyft in Kauai can get you through towns and to your lodging from the airport. Rideshare services are allowed in the pickup and drop-off lanes at the airport, as well. However, parts of the island are quite remote, and you will not be able to find a rideshare in these areas.
You can get to any of the hotels or resorts in Lihue from the airport for $15 or less. Getting to accommodations in Poipu will run you about $35. Getting from the Lihue airport to the Princeville resort area will cost around $60.
Maui Uber and Lyft
There are two airports on Maui, but most people fly into the Kahului Airport, where Uber and Lyft are allowed for pickups and dropoffs. Like Big Island and Kauai, these rideshare services work well in the populated towns, but you shouldn’t count on getting back to your accommodations from more remote attractions via rideshare.
You can get to anywhere around Kahului from the airport for under $15. Getting to resorts in the Wailea area from the airport will cost about $40. To get to resorts on the west coast of Maui from Kahului Airport, you should expect to pay between $70 and $90.
Approximating Your Own Rideshare Costs
If you’re looking to get somewhere specific that we didn’t list above, you can calculate your own costs via a couple of webpages. You can estimate Uber costs here, but remember that this does not account for increased fees during peak periods. Fees can sometimes cost 2x the normal fare if you’re riding during more demanding hours such as the end of the workday or prime adventure hours on weekends or after events. You can estimate Lyft fares here.
Other Transportation Options
If you’re headed somewhere more remote, you might be better off using a different service. Car rentals are available in all of the major resort and hotel destinations of Hawaii. If you’re staying in Waikiki, for instance, you can plan around getting to your accommodation and around the city via walking, bus or rideshare. Then, if you want to venture outside the city, there are plenty of rental agencies around town.
Hui is also a great option if you’re only looking to get out of town for a day or even just a few hours, since you can rent these personal vehicles by the hour. Hui and Turo are both available on Oahu, but not other islands. These services are a nice middle ground between rental cars and rideshares. With Hui, you’ll rent from a private owner via an app, but drive the vehicle yourself. And, when you rent a car with Hui, you can take Shaka Guide's Circle Island tour for free!
Buses work well on Big Island and Oahu, and they can get you to most coastal regions on Maui and Kauai. One-way bus rides cost $2.75 on Oahu and $2.00 on Big Island, Maui, and Kaui.
Visiting Hawaii? Shaka Guide has 19 audio tours on the islands.