Taxi-cabs and Taxi-cab fares
Taxi-cabs are available for hire on all of the inhabited islands. The fares that a taxi-cab operator can charge for the transportation of passengers and their luggage is strictly prescribed under the Road Traffic (Taxi-Cab) Regulations, which you can download by clicking the preceding link. The rate that can be charged depends on the Island where the service is provided and the number of persons and bags that are shuttled, with the cost to hire a taxi-cab on Providenciales being US$3.00 for every mile travelled f Save or every two persons. On the other Islands the fare is the same US$3.00 for every mile travelled, but it is charged for each person, so the cost for group travel is twice as expensive on the other Islands than on Providenciales. Every person is entitled to carry up to two bags at no additional charge along with a small purse, with additional bags carrying a charge of 50 cents each. There is no charge for children under the age of two provided they are accompanied by a paying passenger.
Taxi-cab operators must be specially licensed to operate a taxi-cab and vehicles that are used as taxi-cabs must meet certain minimum safety standards, and they too must be licensed. There is a requirement that taxi-cab operators display a schedule of the rates in a prominent place in all taxi-cabs, but that is seldom done. Taxi-cab operators generally license and use large vans as taxi-cabs, but that is a commercial decision by the taxi-cab operator, most likely a result of the local regulations that allow operators to charge per person, as it is not a requirement imposed by law.
Surprise and displeasure over local taxi-cab rates, and the right to charge per person, is one of the most frequent complaints among visitors to the Islands. There is a taxi-cab rate calculator built into this site, with the per person cost to take a taxi-cab from every resort to the ten closest restaurants and activity companies. Likewise, for every business, you will find the per person cost to take a taxi-cab to the ten closest hotels and resorts as well as to the ten closest companies offering activities. You will find the rates by clicking "More information" on a business listing, and by going to the "Maps & Directions" tab. This facility will not take the sting out of some of the taxi cab rates, but hopefully it will eliminate the shock and surprize of having to pay some of the fares that large groups have to pay for travelling long distances.
Examples of common standard fares include:
Airport to Guanahani Hotel is 3 miles, thus $9 per person; North Base to Crab Tree Corner 5 miles, therefore, $15 per person; South Base to Town is 4 miles, thus, $12 per person.
Airport to Grace Bay Club is 7 1/4 miles, thus $21.75 for every two persons; Beaches to Central Square is 4 miles, therefore, $12 for every two persons; Leeward to Downtown is 9 miles, thus, $27 for every two persons.
Airport to Prospect of Whitby Hotel is 5 miles, thus $15 per person, Kew to Bottle Creek South is 11 miles, therefore, $33 per person; Sandy Point to Whitby Area is 7 miles, thus $21 per person.
Airport to Lorimers is 11 miles, thus $33 per person; Conch Bar to Bambarra is 7 miles, therefore, $21 per person; Bambarra to Lorimers is 3 miles, thus $9 per person.
Airport to Bell Sound is 4 miles, thus $12 per person; Airport to Town is 2 miles, therefore, $6 per person; Airport to the old Coast Guard station is 7 miles, thus $21 per person.
Airport to town is 2 miles, thus $6 per person; town to the Windmills Hotel is 2 miles, therefore $6 per person; airport to Windmills Hotel is 1 mile, thus $3 per person.
Taxi cabs are also available for hire for tours. Cabs adapted to carry four (4) or fewer passengers will charge, on average, US$25.00 per hour. Cabs adapted to carry more than four (4) passengers but not exceeding ten (10) passengers will charge US$30.00 per hour.
Cab drivers are also entitled to charge additional fees for waiting and for carrying excess luggage. Where a taxi-cab is requested to wait after being hired, drivers are allowed to charge US$5.00 for every fifteen (15) minutes of waiting time. Drivers will not charge for the carriage of up to two pieces of baggage and a small hand bag carried by passengers. However, they are entitled to charge US$0.50 for each additional piece.
Omnibus or Jitneys
On the island of Providenciales, Public Service Vehicles (ie an "Omnibus" or "Jitney") are owned and operated by private individuals and are generally used by locals, but there is no reason a budget-minded tourist could not use them to get around. Bus shelters are located along the main roads and most jitneys generally pick up passengers at the shelters or along the side of the roads and they follow standard routes. Jitneys are generally standard vehicles and are sometimes small mini-vans. Carriage charges for jitneys are calculated on a per person basis and are determined by the length of travel from pick-up to destination. In general, fares for a jitney are much cheaper than taxi-cabs and they range from approximately $6 or $8 per person depending on the length of travel.