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Please answer this for me is the VITRAN/Safari bus for locals or not. I have seen tourists use the bus many times but we were on one and the driver turned away a couple of tourists.
Just want a direct answer
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, there are two main types of public transportation: VITRAN and Safari buses.
- VITRAN: The USVI government-operated public transportation system. They provide scheduled bus services on the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. These buses are used by both locals and tourists for daily commutes, shopping, and sightseeing. VITRAN buses are affordable and cover major routes on the islands, making them a popular choice for many. However, they may not always provide the same level of convenience as private transportation options, as they follow a fixed schedule and route.
- Safari Buses: Safari buses are privately owned, open-air vehicles that are often converted trucks or vans. They offer a more informal and flexible transportation option compared to VITRAN buses.
There are two primary types of Safaris:
a) “Dollar Rides”: These Safari buses operate like shared taxis. They charge a flat fee per person (often called "Dollar Rides" due to the low cost). Locals and tourists alike can use these safaris. The dollar ride generally follows a similar route to the previously mentioned VITRAN public bus route, similar but not the same, and they often pull into or near the VITRAN bus stops.
b) Guided/Private Safari’s: Some Safari buses offer guided tours or private trips for tourists and locals. They may also offer additional amenities and services such as narration or assistance with luggage. These trips are more expensive and different from “Dollar Rides” and offer a more personalized experience.
In summary, both VITRAN and Safari buses can be used by locals and tourists alike. However, the specific services they offer may vary, with VITRAN providing more structured public transportation and Safari buses offering a mix of informal shared taxi-like services and guided or private tours.