While this structure may not seem like anything special, it is, in fact, a very important part of Hawai‘i’s history. It was formerly a shelter for the Honolulu Rapid Transit, a bus system heavily used by residents during and after WWII. (This is not to be confused with the rail transit debacle currently undergoing construction on O‘ahu).
You can find this simple wooden shelter on the makai side of Kapi‘olani Park’s tennis courts. It used to be a stop for the Mānoa Streetcar we told you about. The cool part is that it is still being used today but instead, by Honolulu’s current bus system appropriately named TheBus.
According to historian Jeff Livingston of Hawaiian Railway Society, this is the last remaining sign of the Honolulu Rapid Transit. All equipment prior to WWII had been scrapped and not a single car saved, sadly. It’s nice to know that at least one thing from Hawai‘i’s historic rail system has been salvaged, even if not many people realize it.
This makes me wonder how many other things around town, which we think is nothing out of the ordinary, play a significant role in our state’s history. Most times, you will see a bronze plaque indicating its historic status. So be on the look out for those while you visit the islands.
Photo Courtesy: John Goldie Photograph, Hawaiian Railway Society Collection
August 9th, 2013