Transport in Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago, a country that relies heavily on industrialisation and tourism, has various transport systems. Trinidad is the larger island, with a business-oriented economy and the seat of the country's government and Piarco International Airport, the country's most major airport. A smaller number of international flights from fly directly to Tobago's Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson International Airport (formerly Crown Point Airport). There is also a small airfield name Camdem Airfield in Couva, which is mainly used for cropdusting planes.
Public transport is provided by a government-run bus service (known as the Public Transport Service Corporation, or PTSC), privately owned mini-buses (locally known as maxi-taxis), as well as privately owned cars. Maxi-taxis and some cars carry passengers along fixed routes for a fixed fare, although cars are slightly more expensive for similar routes carried by maxi-taxis because of their much smaller passenger capacities. Travellers can also negotiate with car taxi drivers to go off-route for short distances for an additional charge if one's destination is not exactly on the car taxi's route. Car taxis are not allowed to utilise the Priority Bus Route, however, and as such maxi-taxis and buses are preferable for speedily entering and exiting the cities (especially Port of Spain) during rush hour (7am–9am and 4pm–6pm).
In Port of Spain all maxi-taxis and buses heading out of the city are centrally housed in the transportation hub known as City Gate. In all other locations and for Port of Spain Intra-city transportation, taxi-stands are scattered at various streets of the town or region, and after sunset some of these taxi-stands may change location, although this changed location is also fixed. Recently there has also been a growth in popularity of American-style taxi-cabs that do not work along a fixed route and they can be booked for specific times for specific journeys.
Ferries operate between Port of Spain and Scarborough. Cars can be brought onto the ferries and kept in the cargo areas. Ferries run daily, Sundays to Sunday (less sailings on the weekend). The ferries are inexpensive, in spite of the minimum 2½–3 hour travel time between Port of Spain and Scarborough.
The Water Taxi Service (Trinidad and Tobago) operates between the cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando at a peak rate of five sailings from San Fernando to Port of Spain per morning. Each sailing carries approximately 400 passengers. Travel time is 50 mins and the cost of the service is heavily subsidized.
There is a minimal agricultural railway system near San Fernando, but the Trinidad Government Railway that was built while Trinidad and Tobago was a colony of the United Kingdom was gradually scaled back until it was discontinued in 1968. (The narrow-gauge agricultural railroad was shut down in the late 1990s).
On April 11, 2008 the Trinitrain consortium announced it would plan and build 105 km two line Trinidad Rapid Railway. It was claimed that the new railways were needed to overcome growing road congestion. However the project was cancelled in September 2010.
total: 8,320 km
paved: 8,320 km
unpaved: 0 km (1996 est.)
Trinidad Island also has a large and complex highway network, that consists of two 6-lane freeways:
- Churchill Roosevelt Highway, runs from Port of Spain to Arima, and extends for 45 km.
- Uriah Butler Highway, runs from San Juan to San Fernando and extends for 50 km.
Airports: 6 (1999 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1999 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (1999 est.)
(Transportation information from the CIA World Handbook.)
- Public Transport Service Corporation
- The Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago
- The Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority
- Travel & Transportation - Getting Around Tobago - The Department of Tourism, Tobago House of Assembly