Saturday, June 11, 2016

Trolley Cars and Buses

Ziu, Mtb, Trolley Bus, Electric Motor  As you know, I've been visiting Hawaii recently.  It gave my father a chance to share some of his early memories of moving to Hawaii in 1938.

Today, he was talking about the electric trolley's that ran around Waikiki and Oahu in the 1930's.  It appears this was the main form of transportation at the time.

Dad talks about riding it one day back in the late 1930's.  The trolley made a stop and started off again but someone came running down yelling.  The trolley stopped and backed up a block to pick the person up before continuing on its way.  He smiled as he told the story.

Oahu has always had some sort of public transportation when I lived there but I wondered when it all started.  The very first transit system, the Honolulu Tramway, ran from downtown to Waikiki using mule powered trams.  In 1898, it was taken over by the Honolulu Rapid Transit and Land company.  This company started operations on the day the islands were annexed by the United States Government.

The Honolulu Rapid  Transit and Land Company started service with street cars in 1901.  In 1925, they switched to motor buses and from 1937 to 1957 they operated electric trolley's. This means that my father rode the trolleys shortly after they started!  From what he indicated, he used the public transit system a lot in his youth.

Turn in to Waikiki Aquarium.
The Honolulu Rapid Transit and Land Company as a way of creating interest in riding the streetcars to the end of the line, built the Waikiki Aquarium in 1904 which makes it the second oldest aquarium in the United States. At the time it opened it had 35 tanks with 400 marine organisms and it was declared the aquarium had the best display in the world.

Over the years, the transit system expanded and flourished.  Today, you can hop the bus and go anywhere on the island for $2.50 or $1.00 if you are a senior citizen.  The bus system is well used by visitors and residents alike.  It also means you do not have to fight island traffic which is considered as bad as the traffic in Los Angeles.
Modern Tourist Trolley

Should you want the experience of riding an old fashioned trolley, Waikiki has all sorts of trolleys you can get passes for to ride all day long.  Many are geared for the Japanese and others are hop on and off so you can stop as much as you want.  In fact, one of the shopping places has a trolley you can hop on to get there.

Check it out and enjoy.

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