Is it realistic to commute daily for work between the islands?
I know St. Thomas and St. John are heavily commuted by ferry, but what about St. Croix and St. Thomas or St, Croix and St. John? and what is the expense? is it realistic to do this daily on an average salary? Thx everyone!!! You all have given such great advice and it is very much appreciated... : )
Totally unrealistic both cost and timewise.
The only way to get to St Croix from any other Virgin Island is to fly, and a round trip ticket averages $200. It's only doable if you work for the airline. 🙂
I've worked with people that commuted from STJ to STT and worked in Tutu on barely more than minimum wage. I have no idea how they were able to tolerate it, I couldn't imagine doing this unless you live in Cruz Bay and work in Red Hook and make a very high salary, but even then I can't see why anyone would want to do this.
As far as STX to anywhere, total no-go.
STX is a lot farther from STT and STJ (45 miles). There are flights at multiple times all day long, but the tickets are anywhere from $50 - 100 each way, depending upon the day and what fares are being offered. It is about a half hour flight all in (boarding, taxiing and so on), plus time to and from the terminal, waiting to board, and so on.
The ferry between STX and STT has been closed for a while - and I understand it was like a 3 hour trip affectionately titled the "vomit comet" when it did run (I never took it). I have seen in the news lately that the company that had the contract to provide the service has now lost the contract so perhaps someone else will take it over, but I sure wouldn't want to take that trip every day!
Commuting between STT and STJ isn't too bad and many people do it every day but it does (according to friends who've done it on a regular basis) get wearisome very quickly. If you live on the East end of STT not so bad and several do it because although their jobs are on STJ the rents are generally much more reasonable on STT.
Several years ago I went back and forth between STX and STT every day for several weeks for work. After that I flew fairly regularly for a year or two. Catch the 6:30am to STT, work all day, catch the 5:40pm back to STX. After a while it is just like catching the bus. I know quite a few people who have done the STX-STT commute several days a week for years. Fly back and forth a few times on any of the airlines and you will start to recognize faces pretty fast. Lots of people prefer flying over on monday and back home on friday. I don't travel as much anymore as I have in the past, but I did fly over and back twice last week.
I lived on STJ for a while, and the commute to STT actually took more time than the commute from STX to STT, especially if one was stuck waiting on the car ferry.
The cost of flying can be prohibitive if you are paying for it with an average salary, but a subcontractor or someone providing a specialized service, for instance, will factor in the travel expense as part of their cost for working on other islands. The cost of a round trip flight is often the same price or cheaper than getting a hotel room, and it is nice to be able eat dinner with your family and to sleep in your own bed at home in spite of working on another island. Making the trip every day does grow tiring, but often for a business to grow here it needs to expand to serve all three islands.
All in all, it is possible, but usually only in special circumstances.
I did it for a while. I ended up getting a small apartment and a car in St. Trauma and going over on Monday and coming home to St. Croix on Friday evening. I dont' recommend the daily commute - quite often the last flights are cancelled due to weather - then you end up at the airport or stuck overnight anyway.
I know people who commute between STX and STT almost daily but they own private planes and fly themselves.
Unless things have changed from when I commuted (only once per week a couple yrs ago).......If the sea plane cancels the last flight out from STT to STX, they will assist you getting home @ NO Additional charge including the taxi ride to the airport, get you rescheduled on Cape Air & if needed a taxi ride home!!!! This only happened to me a couple times when flying between islands for my job & the people @ the seaplane were just wonderful!!!! Also like others have mentioned, if you are a regular, the staff will do their best to to & fro ......I even had a pilot personally watch for me & made sure I was on his flight!
Once or twice a week between STT and STX is one thing - a regular daily commute is a different kettle of fish (and I think this is what the OP was questioning).
A daily commute would run $180 per day, on average - So, $900/week, $45,000/year, give or take. That's really the lynch pin IMO, if the payoff of the job and pleasure of the residence would be worth it. (or if the company could afford the expense). I'm not an accountant so I can't say anything about it being tax deductible?
The flight schedules for both Cape Air and Seaborne have varied a bit lately, I would make sure especially during the summer that the times are reasonable as well. Someone self-employed would have much more flexibility here I would think.
islandtyem - That is true - however, when the assitance means you get back the STX airporat at 8PM or 830PM and have to turn around and go back the next morning after being bussed to get your car at the seaplane it just gets too tiresome;... once a week I'd take the risk, daily..it happens way too often to be tolerable. Unless you really love local taxivans and the STT airport in which case go for it.
OT - I realize the OP was wondering if it could be done DAILY VS my once per week, however mentioning how the seaplane folks will keep an eye out 4 you IS worth mentioning in case they decide they can afford & tolerate the commute.
STXfoodle - I worked retail, so I was able to travel before the 8PM scenario generally, BUT...I did experience one of those famous 8:30 PM landings, where again the Cape-Air folks made sure I had a ride to either my car or home (my hub met me @ the airport).
You can buy bulk seaplane tix @ a corp discount, but still expensive.
Would I want to do this more than once per week.....maybe 2 times You Betcha! But 5 days per.....nope nope nope..........Made for LONG days & SHORT nights!!!
The experience was ACES & very grateful to have lived it :@)
Good Luck to the OP in what ever you decide....