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Transportation in the United States Virgin Islands

A street sign reminding drivers to drive on the left.

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) is the only place under United States jurisdiction where the rule of the road is to drive on the left. However, virtually all passenger vehicles are left hand drive due to imports of US vehicles.

Contents

  • Roadways 1
  • Airports 2
  • Ports and harbors 3
  • Railways 4
  • Customs 5
  • References 6

Roadways

The USVI have 1,257 km (781 mi) of roadways.[1] Island roads tend to be poorly surfaced due to the terrain, and may take sharp turns. Cars drive on the left hand side of the road, but nearly all the automobiles on the island have left side steering columns.

Virgin Islands Transit (VITRAN) public buses run between the main towns and areas of local interest (not tourist destinations). Bus fare is $1 or less.[2][3] Privately owned "dollar ride" or "dollar run" taxi buses stop at or near many bus stops. They follow a predefined route, but do not follow a regular schedule. It is often possible to get off anywhere along their route. These buses charge a flat rate for the trip, either $1 or $2.[4]

Nearly all taxis are shared taxis, either enclosed vans or open-air "safaris", that go to destinations that are most convenient for tourists (e.g., hotels, beaches, docks, airports, sightseeing tours). They are not metered and are required by law to charge a flat fare that varies by destination. Though less common, private taxis to other destinations can also be negotiated.[5][6]

There are many car rental agencies which rent cars and jeeps.[7][8]

Airports

Two international airports serve the islands:[1]

There are also two seaplane bases:

There are no airports on Saint John or Water Island.

Ports and harbors

Ports and harbors include:

Cruise ships call on Charlotte Amalie, Havensight, Subbase, Frederiksted, and Cruz Bay.[9]

There are many and frequent inter-island ferries. Cruz Bay, Saint John can be reached from Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook on Saint Thomas. Car barges also run between Cruz Bay and Red Hook. Water Island can be reached from Crown Bay, Saint Thomas. International ferries also run between Saint Thomas, Saint John, and the neighboring British Virgin Islands.[10]

There are numerous marinas and anchorages in the USVI. Vessels entering the islands must proceed directly to a port of entry for clearance before passengers and crew go ashore.[11]

Railways

The USVI contain no railways[12] although there was formerly a marine railway on Hassel Island.[13]

Customs

Although a U.S. territory, the USVI are maintained as a "free port" in a separate customs zone. Travelers to the continental United States and Puerto Rico need to pre-clear U.S. customs and present a passport or proof of U.S. citizenship or nationality. The immigration status of non-U.S. citizens may be checked during this process as well.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "CIA World Factbook - US Virgin Islands". CIA. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "VInow: St. Thomas Island Guide: Transportation". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  3. ^ "VInow: St. Croix Island Guide: Transportation". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  4. ^ "VInow: Virgin Islands Travel Forum". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  5. ^ "VInow: St. Thomas Island Guide: Taxis & Rates". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  6. ^ "VInow: St. Croix Island Guide: Taxis & Rates". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  7. ^ "VInow: St. Thomas Island Guide: Car Rentals". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  8. ^ "VInow: St. Croix Island Guide: Car Rentals". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  9. ^ a b c "VInow: Virgin Islands Cruise Ship Guide". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  10. ^ a b "VInow: Virgin Islands Ferry Schedules". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  11. ^ "VInow: Virgin Islands Marinas & Anchorage Sites". Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  12. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook - US Virgin Islands (2004)". 11 May 2004. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "SJHS: Creque Marine Railway, Hassel Island, a Walking Tour". Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
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