This review of the wheelchair accessibility of Waikiki Trolley Tours is from Fall 2022.
Waikiki Trolley Tours offers hop-on, hop-off routes for major tourist destinations near Waikiki/Honolulu (Oahu, Hawaii). Their fleet consists of buses and trolleys. They offer various packages depending on number of days and how many routes you want to take (e.g., 1 route for the day, or access to all 4 routes). Their 4 routes include:
- Blue Line — Duke Kahanamoku Statue, Diamond Head, Halona Blow Hole, and gorgeous coastal cruises
- Pink Line — Ala Moana Center, Waikiki Shopping Plaza
- Red Line — Honolulu Museum of Art, State Capitol, Punchbowl, Chinatown
- Green Line — Rainbow Drive Inn, Leonard’s Bakery, Da Ono Hawaiian Food, Pipeline Bakeshop
The map of the four lines was the most helpful tool for planning routes, times, and destinations. The Blue and Red lines are identical open-air trolleys, whereas the Pink Line is a more traditional double-decker bus. Waikiki Trolley recommends wheelchair users start at stop #1 for all routes as there is an extra staff member to assist with boarding and they can help coordinate future pick-ups as needed. The buses/trolleys were wheelchair accessible via a manual ramp or a powered lift. They all had tiedowns, and the drivers were trained on how to use the accessibility equipment.
Contact information — their staff responds timely to text/calls at 808-591-2561 and e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We explored the Pink and Red Lines on one day, and then the Blue Line on the next. Waikiki Trolley was a great way to see many of the destinations near Waikiki. For destinations farther away from Waikiki, we opted for public transportation to Pearl Harbor National Memorial, and rented a van to explore the North Shore, Dole Plantation, and Disney’s Aulani.
Wheelchair Accessibility of Blue and Red Lines
The Blue and Red Lines used the same open-air trolleys, so their accessibility features were identical. The Blue Line was a great way to explore the southern coast, including going around Diamondhead and the Halona Blow Hole. It runs every 40 minutes. The Red Line was a great way to see Punchbowl, the state government buildings, and museums. It runs every 60 minutes. Both trolleys had a wheelchair lift that came out of the middle of the vehicle–it is hidden in a compartment, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see it right away. There is a wheelchair space in the middle of the trolley, and Q’Straint tiedowns for the journey.
Note: Riding sideways and the very windy conditions made the ride a little disconcerting at high speeds. But that’s more personal tolerance than objective safety issues–our driver was a former truck driver and had the situation well in hand. And ask your driver which direction to face for the most scenic views–wheelchair users can face either left or right, but riding sideways limits your ability to turn to see behind you (i.e., I faced the right side of the trolley, so I had to look behind me to see the left side of the trolley).
Wheelchair Accessibility of Pink Line
The Pink Line runs primarily around the shopping and tourist sites around Waikiki. It runs every 15 minutes, and takes about an hour for a full roundtrip. Our route consisted of us walking/scooting the 2-3 miles of Waikiki coast from the Hilton Waikiki Beach hotel to the Ala Moana Shopping Center (videos here and here). We then hopped a ride on the Pink Line from the Ala Moana Shopping Center back to the Hilton Waikiki Beach hotel, seeing the Duke Kahanamoku Statue along the way (which we had also walked by on our way there, but one can never pay enough homage to The Duke).
The Pink Line was a double-decker bus. The driver put down a manual ramp, which bridged the gap nicely–minimal incline and secure. The driver then put the seats up for the wheelchair accessible parking space, and used the tiedowns to secure the scooter. The drive was only through town, so the ride was smooth and relatively slow. Great way to get around Waikiki and save battery power and time for other explorations around Waikiki (although the journey itself is gorgeous too).
The wheelchair accessibility of Waikiki Trolley’s lines made them a reliable and convenient means for exploring all that Waikiki offers.