A reader wrote to ask about the cost of travel between the islands. I try to post the letters that have the broadest audience…
I have been thinking of moving to Maui (Makawao, specifically) and renting a house owned by a friend of my family with my sister. I am hoping to take classes through the University of Hawaii; however, I noticed that the University of Hawaii: Maui College doesn’t really offer the classes/majors I am interested in. So my question is this: is there some sort of pass I could pay for to use for regular commuting between islands, or would I have to buy tickets separately? P.S. – Your blog has been EXTREMELY helpful in giving me a new perspective of what it is like to live in Maui, thank you so much!
Thank you for writing.
Unfortunately, nothing like that exists any more. In the old days (15 years ago, when I moved here) you could buy a coupon book, and the interisland fare was only $25.00. It was very helpful to residents who wanted to go visit family or even to just go shopping for things they needed on Oahu. Christmas shopping, even.
Not any more. We had an airline war. Mesa Airlines (operating as go! Airlines) put Aloha Airlines out of business. Now THEY they are out of business… which means Hawaiian Airlines basically has a monopoly, so we don’t expect to see prices drop anytime soon.
There was also a ferry that ran interisland, “The Superferry”, and most residents were very excited about it, because they could ferry their cars over and not have to rent a car. But that got torpedoed by environmental groups who felt that it harmed the whales (and probably the rental car companies…)
So we are back to paying around $87.00 and up for a one-way ticket to Oahu. Times that by two or four or five in the family, and it becomes very prohibitive.
I would not suggest trying to attend school on one island and live on the other if your budget is tight.
I wish you the very best as you plan your future. Thank you for writing, and for reading along.
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