New shuttle service is aimed at reducing visitor traffic on Maui
KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - There is a new service on Maui meant to help tourists get around without adding more cars to the roads.
“We’re hoping that it will help alleviate some of the problems that we’re having with the resurgence of tourism,” said Kelly Camps, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Polynesian Adventure Tours.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and Polynesian Adventure Tours have launched a shuttle service for tourists from the Kahului Airport to big resort areas like Kaanapali and Wailea.
“Our hope is that the visitors will recognize this as being a real benefit when they arrive at the airport,” said Leanne Pletcher, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau Director of Public Relations and Marketing.
Local leaders say the influx in tourists is having a major impact on the island’s streets and highways.
Camps said the goal is to have fewer cars on the streets and highways.
“They say, ‘That’s a big bus.’ But we say, ‘Yes, but it also takes at least 20 cars off the road,” Camps said.
It is a two-week pilot program subsidized by the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Adults pay $50 for a one-way trip to West Maui, $35 for kids 4-12 years old. The adult fare to Wailea is $35 and $20 for children 4-12 years old. Children three years old and younger are free.
“I think it’s fabulous!” said Carlota Franklin Campbell, who is visiting with her family from California.
Campbell heard about Maui’s rental car shortage and say the shuttle is worth it.
“I think people would definitely do it if they knew about it,” she said. “It’s great and it’s nice and cool inside.”
The pilot program set to end on Saturday, July 17th but could be extended through the end of summer.
“Our hope is that it becomes so popular with the visitors that we can continue it through the summer and then it will help with the whole community versus visitor relationship too,” Pletcher said.
It is the kind of tactic officials say is needed to manage overwhelming tourism.
“We have to be sensible. We have this beautiful environment. We can’t destroy it,” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Green.
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