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Oahu Travelers Ride in Style

Get to and from the Honolulu International Airport in this slick new ride. The SpeediShuttle offers around-the-clock services for travelers at a cheaper rate than most cab companies. It’s the airport’s official shuttle, and not to mention, a much more stylish mode of transportation.The SpeediShuttle is another way for travelers to commute to and from the airport.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter shuttles rolled into the spotlight Sunday, taking their first passengers to Waikiki and Aloha Tower. On Jan. 1, shuttles will start going island-wide on Oahu to the North Shore, Windward side (Kaneohe, Kailua, Waimanalo), Leeward side and East side. Rides start at $14.55 (as compared to a $35 cab ride) and can be booked as soon as travelers exit the baggage claim area.

Roundtrip prices from airport:

Waikiki: $28.15

Downtown: $56.28

Kahala: $67.15

KoOlina: $162.99

It seems a little pricey if you’re commuting to KoOlina, costing as much as a roundtrip inter-island flight. But still, it’s cheaper than taking a cab ride, which will cost more than $200 without tip.

There will be four boarding areas around the airport, with signs directing travelers to the nearest one. Shuttle drivers carry tablet PC’s to process boarding passes paid with either credit card or cash, and within five minutes of loading up the luggage, the SpeediShuttle zooms across the island. Passengers get a comfy ride on the 11-seater shuttles that include free wi-fi and air conditioning.

This is a much needed service for both residents and visitors, especially for those on really early or late flights. Asking a friend to grab you from the airport at a time when they’re normally sound asleep or trying to get some sleep can be more than an inconvenience. Avoid the awkward request and jump on the SpeediShuttle.

However, if you’re traveling light, then you may opt to take the city bus. Be sure to check for bus times first; most buses stop running at 9:30 p.m. There may also be multiple stops and transfers from the airport to your destination. And unlike the shuttle service, the bus does not drop off passengers at their doorsteps.

It’s already being put to use a few days after its launch. Just this afternoon, I saw a shuttle full of passengers driving near Manoa. The state has a five-year contract with SpeediShuttle. By January, the company will have hired a total of 125 employees and launched 45 shuttles.

SPEEDiSHUTTLE • Starts at $14.55 per person • Honolulu International Airport to anywhere on Oahu • www.speedishuttle.com • 877-242-5777, toll-free

Photo Credit: SpeediShuttle

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Oct 20, 2011