Drivers wanted: New car share service to launch in Honolulu

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

A new car share service that will allow users to rent vehicles by the hour or the day is set to hit the streets of Honolulu this summer.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - But first, the company is looking for drivers to help fine-tune the program.

Servco Pacific plans to launch a new service called 'Hui' using about 50 Toyota and Lexus vehicles at 16 stations across Oahu, stretching from Downtown Honolulu to Kaimuki.

"In communities like Kakaako, it really kind of makes sense to round out that transportation portfolio for consumers, so it's really kind of based on what consumers have been telling us," said Thor Toma, senior vice president of Hui Car Share. "Users can rent by the hour or by the day. Gas is included, insurance is included, 24-hour roadside assistance."

Drivers can use Hui's mobile app on their cell phones to make reservation, as well as lock and unlock the vehicle, start the car and manage payments.

Servco employees were the first to test the program's interface, and a closed pilot group also offered feedback. The company is now opening the testing phase of the project to volunteers from the public.

"We really want to get the users' feedback and have them tell us what they like about it, what they don't like about it, and hopefully make the program the best it can be at time of launch," said Toma.

A University of Hawaii at Manoa researcher surveyed Kakaako residents in 2016 to gauge interest in car sharing.

"I asked people, 'If car share were available in your residential building and you could save a substantial amount of money with it, would you use it?' And 60 percent said they were 'extremely likely' or 'somewhat likely' to use it," said Andy Yamaguchi, a graduate student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Enterprise has a car share program on Oahu. Individuals also rent out their own personal vehicles using a car share app called Turo.

Hui Car Share is still finalizing its prices.

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