KIHEI - Pono Express, a Kauai-based van service not to be confused with the legendry Pony Express of pioneer days, is now offering services in Lahaina to ferry passengers islandwide to and from the airport and provide private sightseeing tours, government and medical transportation.
Steve Monas, president of the growing firm that has expanded to Maui, picked the name "Pono" because it pledges to do the right thing for customers.
Pono Express is unique in that it offers packages that will allow drivers to stop for up to 20 minutes or more along the way to allow passengers to do brief errands on their way to hotels, condos or the airport.
The company provides lei greetings on request and offers child seats and other amenities.
For cruise passengers and other visitors, Pono Express offers private customized sightseeing tours of Haleakala, Hana, Upcountry or West Maui in air conditioned Toyota Siena minivans for up to six people for one flat rate. Drivers are schooled in Hawaiian culture and the aloha way.
A customer-driven entrepreneur, Ukraine-born Monas is the co-author of "Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible," a kind of consultant in a book that offers practical resources entrepreneurs can use to build successful small businesses.
Pickups and tours can be scheduled via www.ponoexpress.com or by calling (808) 639-1188.