Why bikeshare should be part of every resident's transportation diet

By Morgan Pōmaikaʻi Lee, 2021 Biki Ambassador

Any of these situations sound familiar?

  • You've circled around for 10 minutes looking for parking before settling for a spot a 15-minute walk from your destination.
  • You've decided not to attend something because you don't want to spend $20 to park. 
  • You're going to carpool to hang out on the other side of the island with friends but they want you to meet them at their house and you don't want to leave your car there all day.
  • Your bike, your primary mode of transportation, has a flat tire.
  • You wanted to bike there, but it's going to be really inconvenient to return that way after you do your grocery shopping.
  • You're spending too much money on gas.
  • You can take TheBus, but the route isn't direct and takes twice as long with all the frequent stops. 
  • You're going to arrive together but don't want the pressure of leaving when everyone else does.
  • The prices of ridesharing apps turned nightmarish seemingly overnight.

If you nodded your head in frustration to any of these scenarios, I feel your pain. Most of us don't think we devote significant amounts of mental energy to transportation, but working through the logistics of getting here and there can easily turn into spending 30 extra minutes on Google Maps and texting our friends. As a bike owner who doesn't have my own car, one of the biggest hacks of my adult life has my bikeshare membership. Time and time again, bikeshare has offered my friends and I alternatives, solutions, and back-ups without us having to spend more money or waste time problem solving. And, when we're not just turning to bikes to overcome any of these logistical obstacles, incorporating Biki into our daily lives keeps the cost of living down on an expensive island.

As a reminder: Kama'āina pay as little as $15 per month for unlimited access to bikes at over 130 Biki Stops across downtown Honolulu. If you're a Hawaii resident and haven't taken advantage of this deal yet, I urge you to sign up ASAP. 

We are now recruiting 10 enthusiastic individuals to be Biki Ambassadors. This program is sponsored by a mini-grant funded by the Better Bike Share Partnership.


Updates: July 26th event has been CANCELLED due to the possible threat of Hurricane Douglas. 

Kalakaua Open Streets Sundays has been extended through July due to the popularity of the program. The pilot program will also be extended to Hotel Street in Chinatown on July 11 from 4pm - 9pm.

Open streets

"Open Streets" are programs that temporarily close roads normally reserved for vehicular traffic and instead open them up to walkers, bikers and joggers. This concept has been implemented across the globe, especially through this pandemic, to encourage residents to get outdoors and exercise, while still being able to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Honolulu's pilot program launched the morning of Sunday, June 14 on Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki and has since been extended through July. These weekly events attract residents from across the island excited by the opportunity to ride or walk safely along this iconic street.


Participants have also been encouraged to visit and support local businesses to help stimulate the local economy. This Saturday, Chinatown businesses will be invited to fill up sidewalks and expand their outdoor seating to offer outdoor dining. 


  • Sunday, June 14: 6am - 12pm
  • Sunday, June 21: 6am - 12pm
  • Sunday, June 28: 6am -12pm
  • Sunday, July 5: 6am - 12pm
  • Saturday, July 11: 4pm - 9pm HOTEL STREET
  • Sunday, July 12: 6am - 12pm
  • Sunday, July 19: 6am -12pm
  • Sunday, July 26: 6am - 12pm - CANCELED


  • Physical distancing is required between each family and congregating is prohibited.
  • Masks/face coverings should be worn to the extent possible.
  • Bikers must yield to pedestrians and are to ride to the closest of the center of the road. Joggers and walkers use the outside of the road and sidewalks.
  • Please ride at a comfortable, slow, and safe pace. 
  • Riders must be at least 16 years of age to use Biki. 
  • More details.

Waikiki road closure:

Kalakaua Ave - Seaside to Kapahulu

CHINATOWN Road closure:

Hotel Street - River to Richards



The Sunrise Shack is supporting Open Street Sundays by offering 10% off your total order! Stop by for a bullet coffee and smoothie bowl.


Address: 2335 Kalakaua Ave 

Hours: 6am - 8pm


To redeem, simply mention the Biki discount and show your Biki Pass, App or Biki kiosk receipt. Offer is ongoing.

sunrise shack


The Open Street Sundays initiative, organized by The City and County of Honolulu and the Hawai‘i Bicycling League, was inspired by other cities across the globe who are repurposing streets during a time of low vehicular traffic. Montreal has announced plans to build over 200 miles of new pedestrian and bike paths this summer and Rome will be constructing 93 miles of temporary and permanent bike routes. In addition, New OrleansSan JoséLas Vegas, and Boston are helping restaurants recover by laying the groundwork for outdoor dining spaces. (Source: NACTO)


Photo Credit: Cy Miyashiro, 
Photo Credit: Cy Miyashiro,

A huge mahalo to rider Chris T, who recently adopted a Biki! As the adopter of 1 of our 1300 bikes, Chris provided an inscription "One less car on the road HBL.org" that we placed on the bike's chain guard. He is now able to track his bike and its impacts through our online dashboard, which provides information about the number of riders served, emissions avoided, CO2 burned and miles traveled. 

Biki Adopter - Chris

Why did you decide to adopt a Biki?
 During this pandemic, my wife & I are fortunate to not have had our jobs or incomes impacted. We picked three charities to distribute our "Economic Impact Payment" who would do far more good with the funds than we would. Biki released details about a dropoff in ridership, and I don't want our local bikeshare to be another victim of this disease.
How did you choose your message?
 I had initially tried some clever attempt at humor. My wife suggested something more serious, so we decided to highlight the value of having Biki available as an alternative to driving. We had a few extra characters, so we included the website of the Hawaii Bicycling League (hbl.org), which helps advocate for more biking infrastructure.
 How does Biki benefit the community?
My neighborhood of Makiki is about 3 miles from the major work centers of downtown and Waikiki. This distance is a suitable amount to allow commuters to ride a bike instead of driving a car, and Biki provides this option to those who cannot own or store a bike themselves. Benefits of making this switch include reduced car traffic, increased exercise, and less fighting for parking.
Are you a Biki rider? And if so, what do you like about it? 
While I have my own bike, I still find time to use Biki. Biki has the advantage for one-way bike trips, as well as for those where I'd worry about the security of my own bike. I had my lights stolen once, and it was an unpleasantly dark ride home.
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All Adopt-a-Biki donations go to Bikeshare Hawaii, the 501(c)3 non-profit that manages the Biki program. These donations directly support community outreach, events, education workshops, and safety and access programming.

UPDATE: The Pensacola Protected Bike Lane celebrated the official opening on Friday, September 25. The two-way protected bike lane spans from Wilder Street to Kapiolani Boulevard on the Diamond Head side of the street. This project is one of the Department of Transportation Services complete streets initiatives, and a step towards increasing the connectivity and safety of our community. Learn more.

What will it look like?

Image: Honolulu Complete Streets

The Pensacola project will look similar to the King Street and South Street protected bike lanes (completed in 2014 and 2017): a two-way protected lane on a one-way street. This means that, while drivers can only travel in the mauka to makai direction, cyclists can ride both ways. This design provides the necessary space and protection for cyclists while reducing the risk of collisions with vehicles. 

According to Hawaii Bicycling League, shortly after the completion of the projects, bicycling increased on King St  by 125% and on South St by 381%

Who will it serve?

The Pensacola protected bike lane will create a safe bicycle route to Makiki and Ala Moana/Kakaako, connecting riders to their homes, places of employment, and popular destinations such as Ala Moana Beach Park and Ala Moana Shopping Center. It will conveniently intersect King Street, one of the most popular routes for bike commuters. 


Several Biki Stops are already located on or within close proximity to the route. See map

Construction is expected to conclude this summer! 


For more information on this project and other infrastructure updates, please visit: honolulu.gov/completestreets/urbancore

Screenshot from Biki Mobile App
Screenshot from Biki Mobile App

This month, 120 employees representing 7 different businesses have been participating in the first-ever Oahu Commute Challenge, hosted by STCH and Blue Planet Foundation. Participants were equipped with a monthly Bus pass, rideshare credits and a Biki Commuter Plan, and encouraged to get out of their personal vehicles and switch to cleaner, healthier and more efficient modes of transportation for the chance to win prizes. Watch this video to learn more!

Resolution 19-204 would require Bikeshare Hawaii, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that manages Biki, to prematurely compensate the City for Biki Stops located on City property. The consequences of this resolution are severe and would negatively impact our riders and our service.

Shop at Foodland and donate to Bikeshare Hawaii during the month of September!

During the month of September, donate to Bikeshare Hawaii during your shopping trips to Foodland through the Give Aloha Program! Best of all - the Western Union Foundation and Foodland will match a portion of your donation, so each contribution has an even bigger impact. 


How to donate

  1. Shop at Foodland or Sack N Save! Check out our system map to find a Biki Stop by a store near you. 
  2. Show your Maika'i card (or give phone number) at checkout.
  3. Tell the cashier you wish to make a donation to Bikeshare Hawaii (code 78990) and the amount of your donation, up to $249.
GiveAloha Logo

Donations to each organization are tracked, and Foodland’s matching gift is divided proportionately among all participating organizations based on customer donations to the organizations. 

Why donate?

Until Biki fare revenue hits a certain threshold and the initial equipment purchase is paid off, Bikeshare Hawaii will continue to be funded entirely by grants and donations from organizations and individuals. These contributions support our work in planning and designing the system and targeted programs in alignment with city and state initiatives and community priorities. Some of the ways that our small team of three use resources to accomplish this are: 


Biki workshop with Hawaii Bicycling League
Biki workshop with Hawaii Bicycling League

In-person outreach
In-person outreach

Biki Social Rides Program for residents 50+
Biki Social Rides Program for residents 50+

Helmet distribution at Waikiki Health
Helmet distribution at Waikiki Health



Bikeshare Hawaii’s mission is to provide the public with high quality, convenient, reliable, and affordable bikeshare services that enhance community health and livability, strengthen our public transportation system, and connect people to more places where they live, work and play throughout Hawaii nei.

Current Bicycle Transportation Legislation in DC

Guest Blogger: Michelle K.

On July 30, 2019,  the US Senate passed a bipartisan bill, S2302, called America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act. The name makes me think of freeway cloverleaves and our HART rail system, but actually there are several bicycle-centric programs included in the funding that will update current bike infrastructure, as well as earmark money for some pilot programs that address our future transportation needs. I read that over the last 25 years, federal surface transportation legislation has committed around $15 billion, that’s with a “B”, in bike lanes, bike paths, trails, and other projects that make bike commuting and recreating safer and easier throughout the United States.

1. Transportation Alternatives Program

The popular TAP, Transportation Alternatives Program, would get $1.2 billion. This one is popular because it is a major source of federal funds for our local government agencies to tap into via grants that address concerns that are specific to Oahu bike riders and make our current funding efforts a reality.


TAP helped fund 30% of the expansion of the Biki bikeshare system in 2018. A nice overview of funded Oahu TAP projects can be found here.

05 Biki Install Art Building solar cropped

2. Recreation Trails Program

Civic Center Path

The RTP, Recreation Trails Program, provides funds to develop and maintain our off-road bike trails and trailheads. The funding for this program already comes from fuel taxes, not for your car, but the “gas” you buy for your boat, jet ski, ATV, and other recreational vehicles. What’s included in this current bill is a study that looks at how those fuel taxes are collected and distributed. Results of this study could end up increasing how much money our state allocates to make these improvements in off-road infrastructure.

3. Safety Incentive Program

A third program would fund grants to local municipalities for infrastructure that is designed to make improvements to pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Things like street lighting, signage, and safety barriers in between bikeways and vehicle lanes come to mind. This one is aptly named the Safety Incentive Program and there is currently $500 million proposed in the Senate’s budget for it.

This version of the bill also includes funding for a 'Center of Excellence' that would, among other things, evaluate how docked and dockless bikeshare programs, like Biki, influence real estate values and urban design plans.  Personally, when I was working with a realtor to purchase my Honolulu condo recently, proximity to a Biki station was high on my needs list. I’m interested in knowing how this translates into property values, if at all.

Look for the Lei of Parks sign along your ride.

show your support:

This bill (Safety Incentive Program) is now being discussed in the US House and will go through several committees before it reaches the President’s desk for final approval, so now is a great time to email our congresspersons and ask for their support. The following folks represent you as Oahu residents and sit on the committees that will review this bill and figure out where the funding will come from:


Senate Banking Committee: Senator Brian Schatz (https://www.schatz.senate.gov/contact)

House of Representatives Transportation Committee: Henry J.C. Aquino (repaquino@Capitol.hawaii.gov)


about our guest blogger:

Michelle moved to Oahu a little over a year ago and quickly became a Biki user as she is determined to maintain her car-free lifestyle for as long as possible. This is her first blog post for Biki.

Have a story or bike-related news to share with the Biki community? Email kelsey@bikesharehawaii.org to get in touch. 

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