The new Maui car rental facility has just opened. A one-third billion dollar solar powered, consolidated facility was dedicated and began operations last week. This project is unique in Hawaii, including the terminal, tram transportation, project scope, and funding.
The new facility consolidates all rental companies in one spot and connects passengers via an innovative electric tram. It was completed over the past three years and did not require any taxpayer money. Governor David Ige said “the best part is this is funded with no taxpayer dollars involved.” It was funded in its entirety by Maui car rental customers, who pay a fee of $4.50 per day in the form of a state customer facility fee. Maui’s airport is the largest in terms of rental car income, while Honolulu International Airport has the greatest air traffic volume in Hawaii.
HNL car rental facility is next. A similar facility, funded in the same manner, is now being built at Honolulu International Airport and is expected to be completed in 2021.
Large facility. In terms of size, the new 4-level Maui car rental facility has space for 1,817 ready to rent and returned vehicles, and room for an additional 1,926 storage spots, plus employee parking. Mechanic, fuel and washing facilities are also included.
Innovative trams. The two new free-to-use electric trains, each accommodate a total of 76 passengers in two cars. Trams operate on a rail and are designed in the plantation style. The trains will eliminate more than two dozen prior shuttle buses. We can’t help but wonder what happened to the jobs of the shuttle bus drivers.
New visitor lobby. The facility includes a $3 million main water feature with pools and waterfall, and a large train clock.
Stops en route. There are two airport stops and one at the Maui car rental facility, which is about 1/2 mile away. The tram takes about six minutes, and will operate from about 6am to 11pm, depending on flight schedules.
Work in process. Beat of Hawaii friend Honey Ward was there on the first day and said: “Just yesterday they opened the car rental nest at Maui airport. Every company is in there and you ride these old fashioned looking trams to the terminal. If you are flying to a neighbor island on a commuter airline, leave your luggage and extra people at commuter terminal before returning car – the new tram doesn’t go there and it’s more of a walk than we would have preferred with our bags. It’s a good innovation, and the kinks will be worked out soon.”
Photo courtesy of Hawaii DOT.