5 Things To Know When Taking The Bus In Barbados

“Our Tour Specialists have been getting a few queries from travellers who want to take the bus around the island but are a  bit cautious. We absolutely get it… it’s your first time in Barbados and there is a bit of unsurety. Worry not, here are 5 Things To Know When Taking The Bus In Barbados that will get you going like a true Bajan.”

Bonus: We’ve added directions for taking the bus to Harrison’s Cave and Mount Gay Rum Tour at the end of this article – Happy travels!

Taking the Bus in Barbados

1. Types of Buses

There are 3 types of public transport in Barbados – Transport Board buses (blue), Mini buses (yellow) and ZR / Maxi Taxis (white with a maroon stripe).  No matter where you stay, you will find one type or all three on your bus route.

2. Bus Fares in Barbados Are Super Affordable

It’s US$ 1.00 | BD$ 2.00 per trip, per person.  You will need exact fare if taking the Transport Board bus, however the others will have a conductor who will give you change back. Having said that, smaller notes/bills are preferred Eg. $5, $10 or $20.  Change is always given in Barbadian currency and foreign coins are not accepted.

3. Buses Go Everywhere

Can you get a bus from the airport? Yes! Can you get a bus to Harrison’s Cave?  Yes!  Buses go just about everywhere you can imagine, from country to town from as early as 5am until 11pm.  Before or after those hours, you will need to take a cab or a taxi.

But…Even though it may be possible to take a bus, it may not be the most practical option for some occasions.  For example, our buses are not outfitted with undercarriage compartments for luggage, so though it may be possible to go to the bus stop outside of the airport and catch a bus.  It might not be practical if you have lots of cumbersome luggage; it may be easier to just take a cab/taxi.

Also if you are on a tight schedule…you might not want to take the bus.  Always allow yourself extra travel time for the stops on the way and possible traffic congestion (unlike a taxi, buses rarely divert from their designated routes).

The Transport Board also has a handy Route Finder http://www.transportboard.com/route-finder/ which you can use to research your trip.  Or… you can just ask a local – any of our Tour Specialists, your hotel’s Front Desk, other commuters at the bus stop or even the bus drivers to help you find your way.

4. Bus Stops

By law, buses are only supposed to stop at the designated bus stops.  So find the nearest one in the direction which you wish to travel and start your adventure.

Getting On the Bus:  To stop an approaching bus, simply put out your arm at about shoulder height for about 5 seconds.  This signals to the driver that you wish to catch his/her bus.  All buses will have a sign board with their final destination at the top or in the bottom of the windscreen.  If you are unsure if this is the correct bus, simply ask the driver and he will confirm or inform you which one to look out for.

Getting Off the Bus:  Some buses have both front and back doors, but most buses exit from the front only.  We recommend telling the driver or conductor where you wish to disembark.  This way they keep you in mind as the journey progresses and will ensure you get off at your designated point.

When in Rome…Most buses have a bell system, but just observe what others do on the journey to stop at their designated points and you simply do the same.  Particularly in ZRs / Maxi Taxis the custom is to rap your knuckles making a knocking sound on the area directly above the windows.  This signals to the driver to stop.

5. It Is A Great Way To Embrace & Experience Typical Bajan Culture

Barbadians (aka Bajans) are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.  Don’t be a afraid to engage in friendly conversation, it is a great way to pass the time and they are bound to share with you their views on the ins and outs of Barbados…where to get the best fish in Oistins…the best beaches to visit and so much more.

Bus rides are also a great vantage point for casual observations of Bajan life…kids going to school, bits of gossip whispered between travelling friends, wayside vendors peddling their wares and men ‘slamming a dom’ (playing dominoes).


Bonus Info: Follow these simple directions if taking the bus to Harrison’s Cave or the Mount Gay Rum Tour from the West or South Coasts.  Remember…should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Taking the Bus to Harrison’s Cave:

Firstly, you need to make your way to Bridgetown; so board any bus heading to Bridgetown.  If you’re on the South Coast, your final stop in Bridgetown will be the Fairchild Street Terminal.  Make your way to the Princess Alice Bus Terminal.  If you’re on the West Coast its even easier as your bus takes you directly to the Princess Alice Bus Terminal.

From there you will board the Sturges bus to Harrison’s Cave.  The journey is approximately 45 minutes. Buses are available in both Transport Board (blue) or Mini buses (yellow).

Returning to your Hotel: After your Harrison’s Cave tour, simply board the next bus back to Bridgetown and it will bring you back to the Princess Alice Bus Terminal.

If you’re on the South Coast, make your way back to the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal and you have the option of several buses such as a #11, #3D or Silver Sands which all take the same route back along the South Coast.

If you’re on the West Coast, board a Speightstown bus from the Princess Alice Terminal and simply alert the driver/condcutor where you want to get off.

Taking the Bus to Mount Gay Rum Tour:

Make your way to Bridgetown; you may board any bus with the destination sign – Bridgetown. If you’re on the South Coast, your final stop in Bridgetown will be the Fairchild Street Terminal.  Make your way to the Princess Alice Bus Terminal.  If you’re on the West Coast its a cinch, as your bus will take you directly to the Princess Alice Bus Terminal.

From there you will take a #4 ZR / Maxi Taxi to Mount Gay.  Tell the driver or conductor you wish to get off by Mount Gay; you will be able to see the buildings just down the road from where you disembark.  This journey is approximately 5 minutes.

Returning to your Hotel: After your Mount Gay Rum Tour, simply board the buses in the reverse order.  Take the #4 back to Bridgetown and it will return you to the Princess Alice Terminal.

If you’re on the South Coast, make your way back to the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal and you have the option of several buses such as a #11, #3D or Silver Sands which all take the same route back along the South Coast.

If you’re on the West Coast, board a Speightstown bus from the Princess Alice Terminal and simply alert the driver/condcutor where you want to get off.

04/11/2016

 

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