So you are flying to Maui!
And, you want to save a little bit of money on the cost of your trip to Maui…
Is it possible to take the Maui bus from the Kahului airport?! (This is the main airport on Maui, OGG.)
Yes, it is!
Is it a reasonable option?!
Yes, it can be!
Well, asterisk* it will likely be fine if you’re traveling with carry-on luggage only. More on this in a bit. Also probably better if you are less people. (Like traveling alone or if you are 2 people compared to a group of 4 or 5.) Also it will depend on where you’re headed.
There is a bus that can get you around Maui, and there are many places you can get to by bus.
There are also airport bus routes.
How much does the bus from the Maui airport cost?
If you get on a bus that doesn’t require any transfers, then it will cost $2 per person. Confirm the prices.
If you will need to make a transfer, then you may want to get a day pass, which is $4 per person.
You will pay for your bus fare when you get on the bus. If you want a day pass, you’ll ask the bus driver for it as you get on the bus.
Make sure you have exact change! It’s cash only, and no change will be given to you. So add dollar bills to your list of what to pack for Maui!
Can you bring luggage on the Maui bus?
Well, official Maui bus rules do state that basically anything you bring on the bus needs to fit in your personal space.
But if you’re traveling with a carry-on suitcase, you should be fine!
I have been on the bus headed to or away from the airport, and carry-on luggage seems to not be a problem.
That said, since the policy does say that anything you take on the bus with you needs to fit in your personal space and not take up anyone else’s space, there’s always a risk that you may be told you can’t take the bus with your luggage!
So, be mentally prepared for a back-up plan just in case!
From Maui County about luggage on the bus:
All baggage and personal items must be stored under a passenger’s seat or on the passenger’s lap, and will not protrude to another seat or interfere with other passengers.
Baggage that will not be admitted on board shall include any oversized, dangerous or offensive article that may cause harm or discomfort to any passenger.
All items must be free of sand and debris.
No baggage may be stored in the aisle or on another seat.
That is the official policy that you should be ready to abide by. The enforcement of this may be at the bus driver’s discretion… Being a nice person can also go a long way! 😜 As you get on the bus, greet the bus driver with a cheerful ALOHA! 😄🌺
👆 This is the luggage I had with me on the Maui bus.
How long does it take to travel by bus from the Maui airport?
If you’re going to Paia, there is a direct bus. From the Maui airport to Paia may take around 20 minutes. (There is a hostel with free group tours in Paia.)
If you are going to South Maui (Kihei, Wailea), it’s not a direct bus, and you will need to transfer once. It may take around 45+ minutes to get from the Maui airport to Kihei. It may take around 1 hour 10+ minutes to get from the Maui airport to Wailea.
If you are going to West Maui, it’s also not a direct bus. If you’re going to Lahaina, it will require one transfer. It may take around 1.5+ hours to get from the Maui airport to Lahaina. If you’re going to Kaanapali or Kapalua, it will require 2 transfers. It may take around 2+ hours to get from the Maui airport to Kaanapali. It may take around 2.5 hours to get from the Maui airport to Kapalua.
Google maps makes navigating the bus system relatively easy.
You check the public transportation directions on google maps with the starting location as Kahului Airport, and the destination as the name of your Maui hotel as the destination. In addition to seeing how many times you’ll have to transfer the bus, you can see how far away the bus stop is from the place you’re staying to see if the bus is an option that you want to consider.
For a better idea, you may want to change the departure time to the day of the week and around the time you will be leaving the Maui airport.
Delays are a thing with the Maui bus, so you’ll also want to be mentally prepared for that.
If you want to see a visual of the different Maui bus routes on a map, you can play around with this Maui bus route map. You’ll select the route you want. You may also want to look at these Maui bus route maps.
For official bus timings, you can have a look at the Maui bus schedule here under the “airport access” section.
Is it worth the cost savings to take the bus from the airport?
And so, taking the bus to get to Paia from the airport is a reasonable option.
It may be reasonable to get to Lahaina, Kihei, or Wailea by bus if you don’t mind the transfer. To get to Kaanapali or Kapalua, you may think the money saved is not worth the inconvenience, but that’s really an individual preference! There is also uber on Maui, so you may also consider taking the bus part way and then uber it the rest of the way or something, or at least look into the cost difference.
And the other thing you want to consider is if you want to be dealing with taking a bus after a long flight. Certainly there are other more convenient options to get to your accommodation on your arrival day.
How much is Uber from Maui Airport?
You can check the Uber app for the estimated cost of how much it will be from the Maui airport to your hotel, even if you’re not currently at the airport.
The cost might vary depending on when you arrive, but it can give you a starting point. To get the best idea of the cost of Uber in Maui, try checking around the time of day you’ll be arriving in Maui on Hawaii time. If you’ll be arriving on a weekday, checking during the week may give you a better idea. If you’re flying in over the weekend, it may be better to specifically do a check on a Saturday or Sunday at around the time your flight will arrive.
When I was at the airport, the app showed that an uber from the Maui airport to Paia would cost at least $20.
For reference, driving by car from the Maui airport to Paia is around a 15 minute drive. The Maui airport to Wailea is around a 30 minute drive. The Maui airport to Kaanapali is around a 45 minute drive. (Not including traffic!)
👆 Estimated wait time for an Uber pick-up when I arrived at the Maui airport was 7 minutes.
More below on the specifics of what you’ll be looking for when you arrive at the Maui airport!
Here are some ideas for your time on Maui!
Among the most popular things to do on Maui are Haleakala National Park, the Road to Hana, and Waianapanapa State Park!
For Haleakala National Park, the most famous spot is the Haleakala summit at high altitude of 10,000+ feet! For an epic hike, you will want to be sure to do the Sliding Sands Trail to hike into a crater with a volcanic desert landscape.
Most people do the Road to Hana as a day trip. There are so many Road to Hana stops that it can turn into a really long day. You can make it into a more relaxing 2-day trip by staying overnight in Hana at the Waianapanapa State Park cabins (bring your own everything) or the Hyatt Hana!
Waianapanapa State Park is home to the best black sand beach on Maui. (Reservations required.) You may also want to hike the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail so you can see lava fields with ocean views!
Some more of the best Maui hikes with views you need to see are the Pipiwai Trail (bamboo forest!), Waihee Ridge Trail, and Kapalua Coastal Trail.
Also head to West Maui to see the famous blowhole of Maui, the Nakalele Blowhole.
Read more for your Hawaii trip prep:
Save the Maui video playlist to watch on youtube later!
IMPORTANT!!! If you wanted to see the famous Iao Valley in the West Maui Mountains, unfortunately it will be closed through April 2023. Check the Hawaii State Parks website to confirm.
How to take the bus from the Maui airport?!
This is somewhat how I have done it anyway! I took the bus around Maui in January and February 2020, including from the airport, so this is based on my experiences at that time.
- Arrive at Kahului Airport!
- Collect luggage at baggage claim
- Walk to airport bus stop (near main exit)
- Wait for the bus to come
- Get on the bus! (and pay bus fare with exact change)
- Enjoy the ride to your Maui accommodation!
- Get off the bus
- Walk to your accommodation!!
- ENJOY MAUI!!!
Here’s a bit more about what it might look like taking the Maui airport bus!
Arrive at OGG Maui Airport!
Follow the signs and collect luggage at baggage claim
Even if you’ve gone carry-on only, baggage claim is the way to the exit, so follow the signs to baggage claim!
Walk to airport bus stop
You’ll walk outside the main exit. This is also the “ground transportation” exit. Kahului airport is not tiny, but it’s also not THAT big, so you shouldn’t have a problem locating the exit.
When you exit the airport, you’ll see the road with a median.
Crossing the road will take you to the side of most Maui rental cars. (There may be a company or 2 that is off-site that you take a shuttle to get to. There will be signs for where to go to pick up your car rental if you decide to rent a car from the airport instead.)
If you are taking the bus, then you will cross the street partially. The bus stop is ON the median.
For reference, you can look for the number 3. There are numbers on the median that you can look out for. The bus stop is near number 3. You’ll see a sheltered waiting area, and there’s a sign that says it’s the bus stop.
Wait for the bus to come!
And then when the bus comes…
Get on the bus!
Make sure to get on the correct bus! There will be a big sign on the front of the bus that says the bus route.
You will enter the bus from the front. When you first get on the bus, to put your mind at ease, you can ask the bus driver if the bus goes to where it is that you want to go.
Then, it’s time to pay your bus fare immediately once you get on the bus!
As you get on the bus, you will immediately see the fare box.
You’ll put your $2 (single ride) or $4 (day pass) inside the fare box. Remember, you will not get any change back. If you want a day pass, you will ask the bus driver for that as you get on the bus.
Enjoy the ride to your first stop on Maui!
So once you are on the bus, you can check Google Maps to keep track of how close you are to the bus stop you’ll be getting off at.
Then, once yours is the next stop…
There’s a wire thing along the window.
This will indicate to the bus driver that someone wants to get off.
Surely there will be people who will be getting off the bus before you, so you can just watch what they do.
And you can start walking around Maui!!!
Among the places that you can enjoy by bus:
And there’s how to get from the Maui airport by bus!
Still undecided about whether to take the bus or not?! See how many days to rent a car on Maui for.
HAPPY BUS RIDE FROM MAUI AIRPORT!
See the list:
- Things to do on Maui (for VIEWS!)
- Things to do in Haleakala National Park
- Road to Hana stops (for views!)
- Things to do on Lanai
- Maui to Lanai ferry
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- How a cheapo waterproof phone case works
- Why wear water shoes for the beach
- Why a personal swim buoy is an essential for snorkeling and swimming in the ocean
- Essentials to pack for Maui
- Best shoes for Maui