The tradition started in 1928, when Alexander Boniface Akina established a transportation company on Maui with banana wagons, buses and taxis. Mr. Akina also provided transportation service for the U.S. Government. These ventures established Maui’s oldest and most experienced transportation company, Akina’s Transportation Service.
Since 1988, Akina Aloha Tours has been owned and operated by Douglas and Sandra Akina. The Akina Family has operated the oldest and continuous passenger transportation service on the Island of Maui, establishing a history of service to its customers for over 81 years. The Akina’s goal to provide unique tours, quality service and the Aloha Spirit to all of their customers has become a tradition.
Akina Aloha Tours, Inc. and Akina Bus Service, Ltd., has been ranked one of the Top Ten Most Innovative Motorcoach Operators of 2002 in the nation. Also, outstanding in school bus service, Akina has been recently chosen to represent the State of Hawaii by the national School Bus Magazine. Akina Aloha Tours is an acknowledged industry leader known for its “state of the art” equipment, on-time performance, and superior personalized service. Our modern fleet consists of deluxe limousines, luxury sedans, vans, Van Hool Motorcoaches and an Executive Van Hool Limousine Coach.
Presently, Akina provides the most professional and reliable transportation service on the island of Maui. We offer private Ground Transportation to/from all locations, Unique Island Tours, Meet and Greet Services, Optional Activities, as well as Customized Tours and Events. Akina’s experienced and knowledgeable staff is readily available to assist its clients with all aspects of ground transportation, tour and hospitality services. Akina takes great pride in the first-rate quality of its vehicles, drivers and tour narrators as well as the reliability and on-time performance of its service. With 81 years experience in the transportation industry, we are more than just a transportation company we are your one source of Ground Transportation, Tour and Support Service on the island of Maui!
Our company headquarters is located in Kihei, the foremost expanding area on the island of Maui, less than 10 minutes from the ever growing Wailea Resort, 30 minutes from the Kahului Airport and Ma’alaea Harbor, approximately 45 minutes from the Lahaina and Kaanapali area. With the combined effort of more than 45 employees in Akina Aloha Tours and Akina Bus Service, as well as the 76 plus years of experience, the Akina’s provide transportation services second to none. Our excellent quality control is quite obvious, as all employees, vehicles and operations are unequaled in the Hawaii transportation industry. Absolutely no exceptions have been taken in regards to providing the best equipment, staff and ultimately, THE BEST IN SERVICE AND HAWAIIAN HOSPITALITY!
Maui Students Breathe Easier with Akina Bus Service
Students at Kihei Elementary School and Kamehameha School are now breathing cleaner air as they queue up for their school bus departures. In a demonstration of its commitment to the environment, Akina Bus Service and Akina Aloha Tours are now burning B-20, a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum, in all their vehicles, from school buses to motor coaches.
Akina services four routes for Kihei Elementary and 11 routes for Kamehameha School’s Pukalani Campus, and provides charter excursions for all public and private schools on Maui. Holo Ka’a Public Transit, operated by Akina Aloha Tours and Akina Bus Service, also uses the B-20 fuel.
Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning, renewable alternative fuel produced in Hawaii from 100% recycled vegetable oil. Biodiesel is safe for all diesel engines and has been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a fuel and a fuel additive. It can be used pure, or blended at any percentage with petroleum diesel, and requires no costly engine conversions. Even in a 20% blend, as is used by most fleets that are burning biodiesel, there are significant reductions in smoke, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and carbon monoxide.
Dr. Michael Klaper, host of the popular radio show “Sounds of Healing”, has had ongoing concerns about the effects of exhaust pollution on Maui’s environment and its people. The Maui physician, author and educator recently praised the use of biodiesel, especially in school buses, saying, “I commend the foresight and initiative of Pacific Biodiesel in making a safer, renewable fuel available for our vehicles and power generation, and I applaud the courage and wisdom of Akina Bus Service and Akina Aloha Tours in their decision to use a biodiesel blend in their buses.” Dr. Klaper added that “everyone wins in this endeavor … most importantly, the children who can breathe cleaner air while boarding their buses.”
The Maui biodiesel processing facility, built in 1996 and operated by Pacific Biodiesel, Inc., is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Biodiesel Board as an industry pioneer, having built the first public biodiesel pump in the U.S. The biodiesel industry has since burgeoned in this country, growing at an annual rate of 200-300 percent over the past three years.
Maui Oil Company, Inc. blends and delivers the B-20 to Akina and was an influencing factor in the bus service’s commitment to burn cleaner fuel.
Submitted by Kelly King
Marketing and Communications
Great Fleets Across America, Part II
By staff editors Steve Hirano, Joey Campbell and Thomas McMahon, with contributions from editorial assistants Beverly Braga, Kristen Force and Albert Neal.
Keeping it in the family
Akina Bus Service, Ltd., Kihei
Students transported daily: 950
Schools served: 2
Average driver wage: $14.41
Akina Bus Service is on a short list of operations that have been able to grace SBF's Great Fleets Across America issue more than once. Also a Great Fleet in 2002, this small company has been in business for 75 years, making it the oldest school transportation provider on the island of Maui. Under the ownership of the Akina family, the company operates a fleet of 16 school buses, supplementing a successful motorcoach and tour bus business. A close-knit network of employees and a commitment to family values has been the standard at Akina.
"Having such an established family business really helps our standing in the community because our reputation is the highest," says Dennis Levine, general manager. "The owner of this company believes in quality and his commitment is to be the best."
Extensive training is part of this quest to become the best. Drivers are given in-depth instruction on multiple topics, including student management, defensive driving techniques, reference-point driving, pre-trip inspections, weather and more.
The extensive training pays obvious dividends in student management. According to Levine, student discipline is a very big problem for a lot of operations in Hawaii. But not for Akina. "We have a problem with less than 2 percent of our students and that is due to our drivers," he says. "When you have well-trained drivers who care about the children, your discipline problems become so many fewer."
Maintenance is another aspect of Akina's program that stands out among student transporters in Hawaii. Levine says there may be only one or two operations in the state that even come close to offering the same level of maintenance attention to their vehicles as Akina does. Two full-time mechanics maintain a fleet of 50 vehicles, which includes school buses, motorcoaches, vans, limousines and other vehicles. Each mechanic is ASE-certified in each type of vehicle. The company also has a huge bus lot, modern shop, a bus maintenance software system and new equipment. And of course, it always helps to have a fleet of new vehicles.
HVCB HONORS 10 HAWAI'I ORGANIZATIONS WITH MAILE AWARD
The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) today presented 10 Hawaii organizations with its prestigious Maile Award in recognition of their contributions to sustaining the quality of life and growth of tourism in the islands.
The presentations were made at HVCB's Annual Luncheon in the Coral Ballroom of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa. An estimated 1,000 attendees representing tourism, business, and the general community took part in the luncheon, which commemorated HVCB's 100 years of marketing Hawaii (1903-2003) and was themed Pupukahi i holomua (Unite in order to progress).
HVCB's new President and CEO John Monahan met the membership for the first time, having officially started his position on November 3. In addition, HVCB Chairman Anthony R. Guerrero introduced his successor, Donald Takaki, who begins his chairmanship of the Board of Directors effective January 1, 2004. As chairman of Island Movers, Takaki is a highly respected business owner, avid supporter of Hawaii sports teams, and the former chairman of the Hawaii Convention Center Authority.
The Maile Award is the highest honor presented annually by HVCB to an individual or organization. It recognizes community members celebrating anniversaries of 25, 50, 75, and 100 years of serving Hawaii.
"We applaud our 10 Maile Award recipients for their sustained support of our community and making the Islands of Aloha a better place to live and visit," said Monahan. "This group of honorees exemplifies the diversity of organizations, people, and events that contribute to the quality of the Hawaii cultural and visitor experience."
The 2003 Maile Award honorees, their year of anniversary, and a short description are as follows.
Kapalua Bay Hotel & Ocean Villas - This landmark, award-winning Maui resort opened in 1978 as the first visitor accommodations serving Kapalua. The distinctive architectural design reflects the history of Maui's plantation era.
Ironman Triathlon World Championship - It began as a one-of-a-kind endurance race in 1978. But within a few years, the Ironman became internationally recognized as the ultimate test of athleticism and conditioning, a world-class signature event for Hawaii's Big Island, and one of the most respected championships in all of sport.
Waikiki Community Center - From its simple beginnings in a tiny cottage 25 years ago, this Waikiki "place of refuge" has evolved into a setting for programs, classes, and services to help those who live and work in the area.
Na Wahine O Ke Kai - Widely regarded as the world championship of women's long distance canoe racing, this grueling open ocean crossing spans 41 miles from Molokai to Waikiki. This year's race attracted 72 crews from around the world.
Iolani Sportswear - This family-owned business opened its doors in 1953 with just four sewing machines and seven employees. Now, it stands as one of Hawaii's most respected clothing manufacturers and designers of Aloha fashion wear.
Akina Aloha Tours - Maui's oldest passenger service used banana wagons, buses, and taxis to transport people in 1928. Today, it is known for superior service having been named in 2002 as one of the nation's "Top Ten Most Innovative Motor Coach Operators."
Korean Centennial Committee - The first immigrants from Korea arrived on U.S. soil in Hawaii 100 years ago, inspiring a yearlong centennial celebration recognizing the cultural impact on local traditions throughout the islands.
Soto Mission of Hawaii - The mission's centennial celebration this year honored the pioneer Issei (first generation) and Nisei (second generation) immigrants from Japan and their contributions to Hawaii's culture.
E.K. Fernandez Shows - A staple of local fun and excitement at the 50th State Fair, the Farm Fair, and school and community carnivals statewide, E.K. Fernandez has been entertaining island families since introducing the first steam driven Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round in 1903.
Daughters of Hawaii - Founded 100 years ago by seven women, the Daughters of Hawaii are dedicated to preserving Hawaii's history, most notably the Queen Emma Summer Palace in Honolulu and Hulihee Palace in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.