Kauai’s Office of Economic Development has launched a new website designed to help tourists and residents get around the island without the use of a car.
Launched in part because of the tremendous lack of rental cars available, GetAroundKauai.com serves the dual purpose of helping everyone consider transportation choices in a single location.
A rental car crisis has taken place all across the country as a result of decisions made by companies during the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the major rental car companies sold off a large portion of their supply last year to bring in revenue when travel was at a bare minimum. Those supplies have not been refilled, and companies have scrambled to relocate cars to locations with the highest demand.
“Our goal is that this new website will serve as a resource to connect travelers with transportation alternatives, such as airport shuttles, ride-shares and bike rentals,” OED Director Nalani Brun said in a statement. “This rental-car crisis can become an opportunity for us to shift away from the mindset that the only way to get around Kauai is with a personal vehicle.”
The website includes an overview of transportation options, a map with bus stops and routes, walking guides, and other tips on how to get around the island without a car. There is also a section labeled Travel With Aloha designed to let people know how to be respectful visitors.
Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said the website, launched in conjunction with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Kauai Visitors Bureau, will be a valuable resource.
“During the pandemic, our residents were given a glimpse of what life is like without the influx cars on our roads, and there’s no denying how much traffic had improved,” Kawakami said. “As we continue to recover, we see the opportunity to do better in managing visitor impact, and that includes implementing transportation mode change on our island.”
Officials told The Garden Island that the website will include weekly blog posts to educate readers on a variety of transportation-related topics, from airport shuttle information to parking permit requirements for Kokee State Park.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is proud of the section on being a respectful visitor to the islands.
“Educating visitors about traveling responsibly is key to addressing tourism’s impacts and enhancing the well-being of Kauai’s communities,” said John De Fries, the Authority’s president and CEO. “We encourage travelers to utilize this comprehensive website when planning their trips.”