The Hawaii Department of Transportation announced Friday that the tram, which travels between the Maui Airport Lobby and the consolidated rental facility, would be shut down for a minimum of four days next week for repairs. As a result, the DOT has hired a contractor who will be providing the option for those who would like to have a golf cart provide transportation during the tram outage. The DOT also has a plan on what you should do differently when arriving at the airport during the shutdown.
Repairs are “scheduled” to be completed by the end of the week.
If things go as planned, the tram might be back in operation as soon as Friday next week. We’ll see if that comes to pass.
Work is needed to repair expansion joints on the system rails of the project, which is only about three years old. That is scheduled to begin on Tuesday morning. Once completed, an additional three days are required for the concrete part of the work to be ready to resume operations. Inclement weather on Maui today and predicted over the next couple of days could impact that schedule.
It is about a 7-10 minute walk for those who choose not to use the golf carts or in the event that they aren’t available. The state did not provide information about how many golf carts they would have running during the tram outage.
Furthermore, the work is subject to weather conditions and the fact that it is being done in Hawaii. Typically things just take longer here than expected; we’ll leave it at that.
For those of you transiting Kahului Airport Maui next week, we suggest you plan on extra time whether you are arriving on Maui or departing.
How busy is Maui Airport?
In a word, very. According to the state’s Hawaii Tourism Authority, 228,803 visitors came to Maui last November (their latest month). Given that, our own experiences, plus those you’ve shared about Maui Airport, give us a reason for concern when considering just how significant an impact this repair outage may have.
Returning Car rental customers are advised to drop bags first.
The state DOT said that”Car rental companies have been informed to let customers know that if they have baggage, they may want to drop it off at the lobby first before returning their cars.”
We aren’t sure exactly how they envision that happening and what you do with your rental car while you are attempting to drop off your bags. This could be a bit sticky, so please come prepared with extra time and patience.
DOT said that “There will be employees posted to assist passengers at both the terminal and the rental car facility.”
Maui Airport tram.
The Maui airport, together with Schwager Davis and Hawaiian Dredging Construction, created this new airport tram system in 2019, which consists of the following:
- Two new trams, with two cars each.
- Dual tram switched operation for peak capacity hours
- A tram crossing warning system.
The Maui airport tram system has three stations:
- Arrivals/Baggage Claim
- Car rental facility
The state-of-the-art tram designer said, “There may be no other system in the world quite like Kahului’s due to three pedestrian crossings that the tram system interacts with.” That includes the crossing gates that pause pedestrian traffic as a tram approaches and open when the tram is clear. This is all managed automatically.
Have you used the Maui airport tram?