Transportation in the Bahamas is always an adventure, and the buses that service the larger islands are no exception. Traveling by bus is a great way to save money and experience the local culture, but there are some drawbacks.
Buses in the Bahamas primarily service the major cities of the larger islands. The Family Islands - the smaller, out-lying islands that comprise the rest of the Bahamas - have no public transportation of any kind. Also, no buses in the Bahamas service the islands' airports, major or otherwise, so taxis are the best way to reach these terminals if you don't have private transportation.
In the Nassau and Freeport areas, travelers can catch the Omni Bus (32-seat minibuses called jitneys). These generally have comfortable rates and schedules. Adults can expect one-way fares of $1.25(USD) up to $2.25 for longer trips. Seniors and school children in uniform are at the rate of $0.50(USD). Service begins around 7 a.m. and usually runs until around 6 p.m. or dusk. It is best to check with individual bus lines to find out what time their final bus runs and whether they operate on Sundays.
A public bus also runs daily between the Port Lucaya Marketplace and International Bazaar, as well as to the downtown, West End and East End areas. Fares run between $1 and $8(USD). Exact change is required.
Be advised that Bahamian bus lines are not known for their promptness, and estimates on how frequently the buses in the Bahamas run can range from 10 to 30 minutes. Obviously, travelers who are on tight schedules or who have appointments to keep may prefer to take taxis, as the times of arrival and departure given by the bus lines are generally only very rough estimates.
Buses in the Bahamas are a great way to travel for visitors who are on a budget and those who want to meet the locals and get a taste of an authentic Bahamian experience.
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