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D.C.> STT or STJ? It's complicated..

 
Dorian Poisson
(@Dorian_Poisson)
Active Member

Moving to the islands August 17th (from Washington DC) to pursue Marine Biology at UVI. I applied for student housing so I wouldn't have to worry about finding a job, a car, and paying rent once I arrived, but I just received an email telling me the dorms are all full on St. Thomas campus. So now what?

I've found cheaper apartments on St. John and love the solitude of the island. Would prefer to live there over St. Thomas but I realistically, how difficult would that be with a scooter (with off road tires) as the main form of transportation? I've read mixed reviews on scooters due to the topography of the islands. This really throws a stick in my spoke, as I can't afford to ship my car from DC and bikes are obviously out of the question.

I welcome any and all advice, thanks!

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Topic starter Posted : July 28, 2014 5:28 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

The commute time and associated costs of living in st. John and taking classes at uvi, daily,will test your time, patience and wallet. Don't do it. We don't recommend driving scooters on stt but if that's what you can afford just be an extremely careful & defensive driver. There are lots of rental apts./shares on Craig's list right now. Good luck.

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Posted : July 28, 2014 6:31 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

St John rentals are far fewer and considerably more expensive than those on STT and, Alana is right, that "commute"will grow very old very fast and isn't even worth considering - even more so since the ferry terminal you would use is on the East end and UVI is West. A very long haul and heavily trafficked. I strongly advise against relying on a scooter for transportation and only if you find housing very close to the UVI campus. Best to be safe and find a place on the safari route.

Check craigslist and I'm sure you'll find something suitable - and you can enjoy popping over to St John when you have time off!

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Posted : July 28, 2014 8:19 pm
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Even if a STJ apartment is cheaper, you'll have to add a minimum of $16/day to that for your transportation costs -- $12 R/T on the ferry, $2 each way to UVI by safari taxi. Say you go over 5 days a week, that's $320 a month. So factor that into your calculations.

Spend some time here first and get to know the roads, traffic, etc. before you decide whether you feel comfortable tackling it all on a scooter. Some people ride daily and love it; for others it is too dangerous.

Personally, I would not try commuting to UVI from STJ daily, but I know people who do. It's not an easy trip, and definitely not a way to save money. You can find housing pretty quickly on STT when you arrive.

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Posted : July 28, 2014 9:24 pm
Dorian Poisson
(@Dorian_Poisson)
Active Member

Awesome, thank you all. I did find and secure a monthly rental guest house on STT 6 minutes (according to GoogleMaps) North of campus in West Caret Bay. Is anyone familiar with this neighborhood? I've watched a few videos on YouTube, the roads look pretty steep.

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Topic starter Posted : August 4, 2014 11:11 pm
StCroixBeachBoy
(@StCroixBeachBoy)
Advanced Member

I'll jump in here but I'm certainly not the STT expert. That being said, I was just over there last month and just did that drive. In the middle of the day (not busy) it was 15 min. Add another 10 min if you're way north of Crown Mountain Rd. The main road is good but pretty hilly. The residential "roads" if you want to call them that were bad news. I had a rental (Camry); wish I would have taken a Jeep.

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Posted : August 5, 2014 1:04 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

That West Caret Bay road going down to Caret Bay Villas is a bitch, if you'll pardon my language. I won't go down or up it in my truck if it's raining or slightly wet at all. Let's not mention that it seems that no-one that lives on that road drives carefully or on their own side but maybe that's because they all yak on their cells while driving. If you can spring for a car instead of a scooter - go for it.

Good luck. Hope you remain safe, in one piece and enjoy the islands and UVI.

I am in Dorothea (further away) and it takes me about 15 min. to get to UVI and I never run into any traffic.

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Posted : August 5, 2014 1:16 am
OptimusPrime
(@OptimusPrime)
Advanced Member

Driving in the VI is crazy no matter which island or what type of vehicle. As someone who has many years of scooter experience I suggest you weigh your options but don't take advice from people who don't have scooter experience. People assume that just because they would be a hot mess driving a scooter that everyone else will too. Most scooter accidents are by tourists that have no experience with either a scooter or VI traffic.

Best of luck in your studies.

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Posted : August 5, 2014 1:58 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Driving in the VI is crazy no matter which island or what type of vehicle. As someone who has many years of scooter experience I suggest you weigh your options but don't take advice from people who don't have scooter experience. People assume that just because they would be a hot mess driving a scooter that everyone else will too. Most scooter accidents are by tourists that have no experience with either a scooter or VI traffic.

Best of luck in your studies.

I disagree. I had many years experience using scooters and have never even in my wildest dreams thought of using one on St Thomas. The fact that it's primarily tourists who have accidents on them is because residents are smart enough not to drive them! I've known several newbies who thought that they were the exception to the rule and either purchased scooters here or had one shipped with them. Within just a few weeks their scooters were back up for sale and they were looking for island cars to get around in.

Nor do I think driving in the VI is crazy. I don't know how many other Caribbean islands you've driven on but in comparison the VI drivers are exceptionally polite and safe operators. No point using the comparison of stateside highway driving with our narrow, winding, steep and pot-holed, max 35MPH terrain. There are idiot drivers here just as there are everywhere else. Apples and oranges.

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Posted : August 5, 2014 1:30 pm
OptimusPrime
(@OptimusPrime)
Advanced Member

I've driven scooters on Cozumel, Bermuda, Barbados, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Antigua and in the States. St. Thomas had by far the worst drivers, with St. Croix and Cozumel a close second. Tourists are the leading cause of scooter accidents because they think a ten minute lesson is enough to be competent and don't take the driving seriously because it's " just a scooter". That's my experience. I still think a scooter is the most economical option for an experienced scooter motorist.

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Posted : August 6, 2014 9:31 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

With all due respect, one day of driving around St Thomas as a visitor on a scooter is hardly a good basis for opining that it's a safe option on a daily basis. It may be the best economical option where purchase price and cost of running are concerned but it's the absolute worst in terms of safety.

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Posted : August 6, 2014 9:41 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Bermuda is great for scooters. It's FLAT!
They actually have great buses/public transportation that run on schedule and go all over the islands since there are no rental cars to be had on island. The don't use conventional buses like we have here but they are great. I actually haven't seen any buses here lately, on the road when I am traveling nor do they have any type of schedules posted at the bus stops that they do have.

Costa Rica and PR also have terrible drivers. They are much worse than ours.

I'd be a hot mess on a scooter here.
Bad enough some days driving a pick-up playing dodge 'em!.

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Posted : August 6, 2014 10:16 pm
OptimusPrime
(@OptimusPrime)
Advanced Member

With all due respect, one day of driving around St Thomas as a visitor on a scooter is hardly a good basis for opining that it's a safe option on a daily basis. It may be the best economical option where purchase price and cost of running are concerned but it's the absolute worst in terms of safety.

Where did i state that i had only driven for one day in those locations?

We've gotten way of topic on this thread. Time to get back on track.

Whatever method you decide on Dorian, jeep a sharp eye on the other idiots on the road.

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Posted : August 7, 2014 9:15 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

With all due respect, one day of driving around St Thomas as a visitor on a scooter is hardly a good basis for opining that it's a safe option on a daily basis. It may be the best economical option where purchase price and cost of running are concerned but it's the absolute worst in terms of safety.

Where did i state that i had only driven for one day in those locations?

We've gotten way of topic on this thread.

Maybe because you moved to the USVI three months ago? It's a natural enough assumption that you've never lived on STT. Nor is it off topic given that the OP has been asking about transportation and the possibility of using a scooter was raised.

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Posted : August 7, 2014 9:43 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

We've gotten way of topic on this thread. Time to get back on track.

Topic hijacking is super common on these boards... I rarely ever post nowadays... I just swing by to get amused...

I double dare you... Start a topic about a sushi restaurant and, before you know it, it will get hijacked and you will end up with a thread full of comments about WAPA, the government, VIPD, crime, one island is better than the other, & Hovensa,among others, and nothing to do with relocating to the VIs and island experiences...

I am done with the rant, my apologies... Back to the topic at hand...

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Posted : August 8, 2014 1:23 pm
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