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Driving and Public Transport

Trinidad and Tobago - Driving and Public Transport

As Trinidad and Tobago are two separate islands it may be necessary to travel between them from time to time. The two obvious ways are by air and by sea. The Caribbean Airlines company runs from Port of Spain to Tobago, though these are nearly always booked up in advance and during peak times it is advisable to book as far in advance as possible. Travelling between the two islands by sea may be an easier option, with regular ferries from Port of Spain to Scarborough. The fastest crossing is 2.5 hours by catamaran, though most journeys will take longer.

When driving around the islands, it is important to remember to drive on the left, a legacy of British governance. The roads are generally very good, but traffic in the larger towns can be very heavy at times. The roads in rural areas do tend to be in poor condition, which is made worse when the weather is bad. Most local drivers will use hand signals for turning and other manoeuvres which may be unfamiliar to a foreign driver. When first driving on the islands, it is advisable to take extra care at first while you become accustomed to local ways.

Speed limits are 34mph in towns and up to 50mph on the highways. Driving in Tobago means a top speed limit of 31mph. When there is a red light a left turn cannot be made and no-one is allowed to do a U-turn. The driver and passenger in the front seat are obliged to wear a seat belt. When first arriving in Trinidad and Tobago, a foreign national is allowed to use their own driving licence for three months, but must then obtain an international driving permit. The residents of countries such as China and Vietnam may require more documentation. The website of the Ministry of Transport can provide up to date information on the latest legal requirements.

The bus services in Trinidad and Tobago are run by the Public Transport Service Corporation. Services are not well timetabled and run sporadically. They are very cheap to use, but this means that they tend to be crowded. An increasing number of people are using shared taxis to keep the cost down and avoid the disadvantages of the bus system. There are official taxis which have an 'H' registration although there are some unregistered taxis. Some of these cars follow a set route every day, and will sound their horn so that potential passengers will know that they have room for a fare. This means you can be picked up and dropped off anywhere along the route.

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