The island of Kauai, known as the Garden Isle, launched a new website last week to offer visitors “more sustainable transportation choices,” after a significant increase of visitors led to a shortage of rental cars.
In addition to cars, the site, GetAroundKauai.com, includes airport shuttles, public buses, rideshare services, and even motorbike rentals in an effort to encourage “low-impact green rides to improve the visitor experience, reduce island traffic, increase small business opportunities, and meet climate action goals.”
The site was launched after a spike in tourists sparked car rental prices to surge to as much as $1,000 a day, leading some tourists to turn to unconventional options like U-Haul rentals to get around.
“During the pandemic, our residents were given a glimpse of what life is like without the influx [of] cars on our roads and there’s no denying how much traffic had improved,” Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami said in a statement. “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.”
For those who want to go completely car-free, bike rentals and walking guides are also available, allowing tourists to explore the lush island on foot, including beach paths and parks. A guide of things to do on Kauai without a car is coming soon, the site says.
“This rental car crisis can become an opportunity for us [to] shift away from the mindset that the only way to get around Kaua’i is with a personal vehicle,” Nalani Brun, the director of the Office of Economic Development, also said in the announcement. “By providing visitors with this resource, we are connecting them to information they need to prepare for their trip and be a respectful visitor while on Kaua’i.”
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.