Barbados – Getting around

Once upon a time, locals and tourists alike cruised the Caribbean island of Barbados on horse-drawn trams that ran on tracks. The capital of Bridgetown became its location, and this became the largest, longest running, and most colorful stagecoach streetcar system in the Caribbean with 25 streetcars on 5 lines running over 10 miles of track. The system was in operation for 40 years, until 1925.

Today, transportation on the 14-by-21-mile island offers more — and faster — ways to get around, though I personally love the romance of traveling the gorgeous Barbados coast in a horse-drawn tram.

1. Hire MOQ. Of course, you can rent a conventional car, but Mokes’ open-sided minivans are much more fun to drive around. Like all Barbados rental cars, they have right hand drive. The mokes, which cost about $75 per day, are equipped with a manual transmission and fully outdoor air conditioning. Beware: If it rains, you’ll get soaked!

2. Taxi hop off road. Zed-R trucks are called because their license plates begin with the letters ZR. At 75 cents a head, Zed-R trucks often cram more than the 15-passenger they were designed to hold. There are no regular stops. People report the Zed-R truck wherever they are.

3. Hire a taxi. There are taxi companies and there are individuals who are licensed to drive their cars as taxis. The license plate of both types begins with the letter Z. They do not have counters; Always ask about the fare to your destination before getting into a Barbados taxi.

4. I take the bus. The Barbados Transport Board operates the official bus service in Barbados. Bus stops are plentiful and marked with circular signs reading “Into Town” and “Out of Town”. The city indicated is Bridgetown the capital of Barbados so many buses take you so you can catch another bus going to your exact location. The bus system in Barbados is very good and the buses are clean and very popular with tourists. The fare is an exact change of 75 Barbadian cents (about 37 cents in a US currency).

Exploring the island is fun because the geography varies from white sandy beaches to lush ‘Little Scotland’ to bountiful sugarcane fields. Be prepared, however, to be held up by a man pushing a cart full of coconuts in front of you. But then, who’s in a hurry in Barbados?

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