Maui resident launches 1st Hawaii-based ride-share company

WAILUKU — A Maui resident has launched the only Hawaii-based, locally owned ride-share company in the state last month, officials said.

Holoholo CEO Cecil Morton, who has been in the transportation business in Hawaii for 20 years as owner of SpeediShuttle, told The Maui News last weekend that his daughter came up with the name. It means let’s go cruising.

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“I just fell in love with the name,” Morton said. “And because we’re all about the community as well as welcoming visitors, I want them to love to use a local brand and support the community in that fashion because there is, of course, a movement these days to support local.”

Holoholo, which officially launched on May 24 on Maui, Lanai, Oahu, Hawaii Island and Kauai, includes a community of drivers and vehicles that riders can request from their smartphones, view the costs upfront and pay online. Its services are similar to taxis, car rentals and other ride-sharing companies, such as Lyft and Uber.

Transportation options are in high demand on Maui and other islands because of an increase in tourism and many rental car companies with limited availability as a result of shipping their vehicles off the island during the coronavirus pandemic, The Maui News reported.

There is already a growing demand for holoholo from riders and drivers. Maui resident Corinna Payne said she was a driver for Lyft and Uber, but wants to support and work for a local business full time.

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“We’re building our company one driver and one customer at a time,” Morton said. “I know that from our 20 years of experience from operating on four islands — Lanai is new to us — but Maui requires a good roster of drivers, a big roster, in order to supply the demands, which pre-pandemic there were 200,000 visitors a month.”

Users can now request rides and check pricing online or with their phones.

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