Posted on 9th May 2008
First Things First
Posted on 9th May 2008
This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.
Port of Spain lies approx 25km (15½ miles) northwest of Pairco International Airport.
Downtown is an area of 140 square blocks between Park Street on the north side, Wrightson Road to the west, St. Ann’s River to the east and the Gulf of Paria to the south. The centre of town is along Independence Square, not really a square but two one-way streets running along a narrow pedestrian strip. Here you can pick up a route taxi, find a bank or cheap food. The south end of Frederick Street is the main shopping area. North of downtown, the Queen’s Park Savanah is home to cricket and football matches, live music and cultural events and sits within the 2 mile Circular Road. The northern neighbourhoods of St. Ann’s, Cascade & Maraval have an abundance of cheap accommodation. West of downtown, the lively areas of Woodbrook (where you’ll find good restaurants along Ariapita Avenue) and St. James (entering through an arch at the west end of Tragarete Road) have the best nightlife. East of downtown and St. Ann’s River is the Central Market. Further east are the poorer neighbourhoods of Laventille and Barataria
Getting around any of Tobago’s small towns is easy on foot. Buses and taxis aren’t as readily available as they are on Trinidad, but there are enough to get from A to B. Crown Point: Airport is in the middle of the resort area with hotels, restaurants and beaches are all within a few minutes’ walk of the terminal.
T&T has an extensive network of highways and roads connecting most points of the islands, which makes it relatively easy to get around. Cars, state-owned buses, taxis and privately-owned minibuses called Maxi Taxis.
Taxis are the most popular way of getting round the islands and are recognisable from private cars by the letter ‘H’ on their number plates (H is for Hire vehicle). Cars with ‘P’ are private cars and not official taxis, and you are likely to get ripped-off!
There are taxi ranks at both airports, ferry terminals, major hotels and at ranks around the towns and cities. Fares are relatively inexpensive, but you should confirm the fare with the driver before starting your journey. Taxis are available at Crown Point International Airport and charge around TT$ 25 to hotels around Crown Point, TT$ 30 to Pigeon Point, TT$ 50 to Scarborough. There is another taxi rank stand at Club Pigeon Point. It is also possible to hire a taxi for an island tour for around TT$ 120 * In lower Scarborough, to Crown Point leave from in front of the ferry terminal – TT$ 6. In upper Scarborough, taxis leave from Republic Bank and James Park – around TT$ 11. Requests for transport to areas off the designated taxi route will incur additional charges on top of the set fare. Taxis fares to both airports are subject to an increase of 50% after 10pm .
Types of tickets
Single fares for buses ranges between TT$ 2 – TT$ 12. It is advisable to purchase tickets before boarding. Bus rides within the Port of Spain cost TT$ 2.50. Single fares for buses range between TT$ 2 – TT$ 8. Schedules and tickets are available at the main bus terminals in Port of Spain and Scarborough. Please be aware when using bus services on both islands that schedules can change without notice.
Taxis for airport 669 1689
Independence Square Taxi Rank 625 3032
Kalloos Taxis 622 9073 This is a 24hr service
You can arrange island tours with individual tax drivers. For an all-day around-the-island tour, drivers will generally ask about TT$ 1,000, although you should be able to negotiate that down by 25%.
Maxi Taxis are privately-owned and are an easy and affordable way to explore the islands. There are two sizes seating 12 or 24 persons. They mainly cover Trinidad but one band covers Tobago. The coloured bands on the sides identify the main taxis fixed routes:
– Yellow Band ore Route 1 – cover the western end of Trinidad including Chaguaramas, Petit Valley and Diago Martin. This service is ranked at a fenced compound at the corner of St Vincent Street & South Quay, Port of Spain. Fares range from TT$ 3 -TT$ 10
– Red Band or Route 2 – these travel to the eastern route from Port of Spain to as far east as Sangre Grande. The rank is based at City Gale, South Quay, Port of Spain. Fares range from TT$ 3 – TT$ 8
– Green Band – Maxi Taxis cover the Port of Spain to Chaguanas route and some cover other areas in central Trinidad. Based at City Gate this service costs TT$ 5
– Black Band – cover the southern parts of the island from Chaguanas to Prices Town
– Brown Band – operates between San Fernando and communities on the southwest of the island
– Blue Band – covers the island of Tobago
Maxi Taxis follow set routes, but no timetable, and after 9pm this form of transport is unreliable. And you thought hailing a taxi was a simple affair!!!!
State-owned buses are clearly marked with the company’s name and logo. Bus routes cover most of the islands but services are not reliable. Trinidad’s main bus terminal is City Gate, located at South Quay, Port of Spain. In Tobago, the main bus terminal is located at Sangster’s Hill, Scarborough.