Transportation on the Islands

By road

Hawaii has 4 federal highways: H-1, H-2, H-3, and H-201, all located on Oahu and all part of the Interstate Highway System. With the exception of H-201, which begins and ends on H-1, all the highways have at least one end point at or near a current or former military installation. A system of state highways encircles the other main islands as well as Oahu. Travel can be slow due to narrow winding roads on the coastlines. Travel can be significantly congested during morning and evening commute times in and out of Honolulu, particularly on the leeward side. Be aware that H1 was constructed after Honolulu was well established, and on/off ramps are diverted throughout the city. A good road map is well advised.
* Drivers in Hawaii are generally easy-going and courteous, almost to a fault. In general, one should avoid using his or her car horn except to warn of an imminent accident.

* If someone makes a point of letting you change lanes, turn onto the street from a driveway, or any other act of courtesy, it is polite to give a shaka sign or wave one hand in thanks.

* Do not tailgate or get upset if someone is driving the speed limit in what is typically known as the fast lane. There’s a bumper sticker that you might see around the islands that says: “Slow down. This ain’t the mainland.”

By air

Aviation is an important part of Hawaii’s transportation network, as most interisland travel takes place using commercial airlines. Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha Airlines, and go! use jets to travel between the larger commercial airports in Honolulu, Lihue, Kahului, Kona, and Hilo, while Island Air and Pacific Wings serve smaller airports. These airlines also provide air freight service between the islands.

By ship or ferry

A ferry linked to TheBus will begin service September of 2007. Fare for TheBoat is $2.00, and it runs from Barber’s Point to Aloha Tower Marketplace daily. It is hoped that linking to TheBus and delivering commuters from Leeward to Honolulu will alleviate traffic.

Norwegian Cruise Lines provides American-flagged passenger cruise service between the islands.

A company called Hawaii Superferry planned to connect the islands with a ferry system capable of transporting vehicles. Service was scheduled to begin in the second half of 2007 with routes from Oahu to Kauai and Maui. However, legal issues over environmental impact statements and protests from residents of Maui and Kauai have left this service currently unavailable.

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