Due to the fact that it is not recommended for tourists to drive on these hazardous roads and the lack of a local bus system, when it comes to getting around Mandeville, taxis are the preferred method of transportation. Taxis are a little different here than you may be used to back home, so it helps to know what's what before you arrive.
The most unique thing about the taxis in Mandeville is that there are two different kinds. Charter taxis offer the kind of service that you are most likely familiar with from your home town. These taxis offer private transportation for a group riding together for one set rate to a location specified by the passengers. Route taxis on the other hand are something akin to the typical public bus system on a smaller scale. They stay within city limits or have a specific route between Mandeville and another town like nearby May Pen, and move from place to place stopping at specific points along the way to pick up more passengers until the vehicle is full. These taxis are more flexible than the bus, though, and can be persuaded to take a detour.
Both types taxis are government sanctioned and required to have licensing and insurance. You'll know you've found a taxi by noting the letters “PP” or “PPV” on the license plate, and you can tell the two a part by the license plates as well. Charters have red plates, while route taxis have white plates.
Be aware that there are unlicensed drivers roaming the streets looking to make a few extra bucks by providing transportation to tourists. They do not have the legal authority to do so, and it can be dangerous since most are unlicensed. Though they may offer you a good deal, steer clear of these drivers.
Both charter and route taxis have their place in Mandeville. At the airport, you'll usually find charters just outside of immigration, and in town they hang around popular hotels and attractions. If you're having a hard time finding a taxi, simply call and someone will come pick you up.
If you're unable to find a taxi, or would prefer having one come to you at your location, you can call one of these taxi companies:
|(876) 625-7115||3 Baptist Road - Mandeville|
|(876) 961-2414||22 South Race Course Road - Mandeville|
Once you've gotten a feel for the taxi services in Mandeville, you can take them to the next level and use them as a tour service. Most drivers have obtained certification as members of the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) with the Jamaica Tourist Board in order to make themselves more marketable. JUTA certified drivers are highly trained in providing tours, so you can trust that you'll be getting a tour that is just as professional as if you were to hire a company that specializes in tours of the island, but with more personalized service catered to your interests.
Where charter taxi companies are permitted to set their own rates, route taxis have rates that have been predetermined by the government. Even so, it is always best to confirm the price before you take off so that there is no confusion when you receive your total at the end. Most drivers are open to negotiation, just make sure to keep it friendly and respectful. Typically, route taxis will only accept Jamaican currency, while charters are more willing to accept U.S. Dollars.
Tourist are often wary of driving in unfamiliar places, and Jamaica especially has roads that are difficult to navigate if you are not from the area. Luckily, taxis are able to pick up the slack. They are available in abundance and well regulated, so everyone can feel comfortable hopping in and catching a ride.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.