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Petra
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September 30, 2014 1:34 am  

I found a map of the safari bus route, however, it is very hard to read. I made a map of what I think is the route below. Am I on the right track?


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OldTart
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September 30, 2014 3:07 pm  

Looks about right. They go from West through town to the hospital back from the waterfront, up Raphune Hill and along Weymouth Rhymer Highway to Tutu onto the East End, through to Red Hook then to Turpentiine Run, at the end of which they either turn right to continue on the circular west/east route to Tutu and East or left back down to town and west.


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ms411
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September 30, 2014 3:20 pm  

That is the normal route, but not all adhere to the route on every run. After all, they are independent operators and have flexibility as to how they run their business.


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BeachcomberStt
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September 30, 2014 4:20 pm  

Some only stay in town, others only stay in country. So always ask if they going where you are going.


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ms411
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September 30, 2014 4:49 pm  

Um, not quite, Beachcomber. Most of the time they do the normal route, however, there are a few that will make you get out if they don't have enough people, or if they're in Red Hook when the ferry is due, they'll put you out and turn back.

It's a good idea to tell them where you're going before you get on so you can find out if they're going there.

The options for apartments directly on the route are very limited. Sapphire Village is a good choice. A friend rented an apartment next to Jean Dragin Enterprises and it was on the route. He's left the island, though.

Tillett Gardens is a great place if you rely on public transportation. They sometimes have apartments for rent.


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OldTart
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September 30, 2014 5:13 pm  

Was the OP planning on using the safaris to get around? That in itself gets very old very fast and isn't advisable. They're irregular, don't run after dark and severely limit where you can look for a place to live.

Back before the economy tanked, droves of youngsters regularly poured into STT every winter for seasonal work before embarking on their career path. Those I was moire familiar with stayed in various places along the Smith Bay Road so they could easily get into their jobs in Red Hook for the night and taxi back after their shifts but that fun routine wore off very quickly. Many who decided to stay on rather longer than originally anticipated either bought island cars or hooked up with roommates with cars.


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ms411
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September 30, 2014 5:43 pm  

OT, I read some of OP's early posts, and OP is looking for an apartment on safari route. That's why I made the suggestions.

Not sure if OP will rely on safari 100% or as supplement to vehicle. Hopefully it's the latter.


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OldTart
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September 30, 2014 6:47 pm  

Hopefully it's the latter.

Double ditto!


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BeachcomberStt
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September 30, 2014 6:57 pm  

Ms411, I did say "some" safaris. Maybe I should say "just a few." I have taken a few that tell me even before I get on that they are "town only" or "country only."
When it starts getting late, some won't go to town because the drivers live in country and visa versa.

That's why it's always best to ask before getting on one, like I said before.


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ms411
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September 30, 2014 7:25 pm  

Beachcomber, it's best to tell where you want to go instead of asking where they go. Trust me on this.


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BeachcomberStt
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September 30, 2014 7:46 pm  

Beachcomber, it's best to tell where you want to go instead of asking where they go. Trust me on this.

I trust you and that's what I meant. It's in all how you say it. Whether it is a question - Red Hook?
Or a statement - I'm going to Red Hook.

Sorry, I didn't word my directions on how to engage the driver correctly on how to get where you want to go on island.

And if the safari doesn't have a buzzer/horn for when you need to stop, you stomp your foot on the floor of the safari 🙂


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ms411
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September 30, 2014 8:09 pm  

Beachcomber et el, the reason you want to telll vs ask is because most will say yes to most questions. Language and money favor the driver.

I don't drive so take safari at least several times a week. I won't ride with some of them, so wait for next one(s). But, I usually have time to kill so no big deal.


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BeachcomberStt
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September 30, 2014 10:27 pm  

Ms411, you seem to have more experience than me and my West Indian friends do, so I withdraw my advice.


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Petra
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September 30, 2014 11:40 pm  

After seeing some threads on this forum and some Facebook posts of people having trouble finding what they wanted in an island car recently, I thought it would be a good idea to be privy of taking the safari when I first get there. Zen mode lol. If there is something major going on or stocking up I'll just rent a vehicle for the day I guess. I already sold my car as it wouldn't be a good option.

Ideally, we would love something close to the route but open to other options (depending on how the car search goes). Sight unseen rentals and depending on employment, it looks like Frenchman's Bay or Red Hook would be best so far. But who knows?! This is a tricky journey but looking forward to it. Thank you for the tips!


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Alana33
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September 30, 2014 11:58 pm  

You won't find safaris going out to Frenchman's Bay.Sapphire would indeed be a good option as the have to pass the entrance to Sapphire to drop off for the Red Hook Ferry.
There are rental to be had right in and around Red Hook as well from time to time.

There really is no real schedule to absolutely rely on tho one can usually get a ride into town from the Red Hook Ferry dock when the boat comes in from STJ. My sister often catches a ride from there into town if she has a Drs. appointment. Coming back, if I am not available to give her a ride, she waits for one either by bus stop in front of hospital
or at bottom of Raphune Hill by the stop lights.They don't run after dark.

You will find you will need to buy a car at some point so try to budget for that.
Getting around to do the most basic things by safari will prove challenging and time consuming.It'll make things a heck of a lot easier with a car.


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Petra
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October 1, 2014 12:04 am  

I saw a video of how they are improving VITRAN. Is that outdated info? Do they have set schedules?


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OldTart
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October 1, 2014 2:32 am  

I saw a video of how they are improving VITRAN. Is that outdated info? Do they have set schedules?

VITRAN is continually being "improved" but this means nothing. Go onto the travel forum, scroll down on "St Thomas" to "transportation" and you'll find the info.


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ms411
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October 1, 2014 4:32 am  

I wish this site would delete the references to public transportation, because it really isn't a reliable option. Best to plan on buying a vehicle.


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Petra
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October 1, 2014 5:38 am  

No, please don't delete.

(I am on the outside looking in…)

I think that public transportation is relevant and it will stimulate your economy if we talk about it.


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ms411
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October 1, 2014 9:50 am  

Our public transportation is too unreliable and confusing to be posted online. It can also be a very unpleasant experience. I have been on with people smoking weed, driver verbally fighting with passengers, driver waiting for man to finish relieving himself before getting on, etc.

You never know from hour to hour, day to day if VITRAN is running.

The information is misleading and should be removed.


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OldTart
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October 1, 2014 10:58 am  

I think that public transportation is relevant and it will stimulate your economy if we talk about it.

It's a little premature (by a couple of years) for someone who hasn't even started living here yet to opine such.

As far as the site removing information on public transportation is concerned, that would be a total disservice. The information given is very clear and also clearly notes that the system is unreliable. Forum subscribers here and on other sites constantly remind those unfamiliar with the territory that relying upon it either for vacation travel or as transportation when living here is not a good option.


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ms411
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October 1, 2014 11:07 am  

This first sentence is incorrect. I don't think they've run every hour for at least 15 years. Not sure if times are correct. Didn't read further.

"Public Transportation

Country Buses travel between town and Red Hook every hour. They start running at 5.15am from town and end at 8.00pm from Red Hook."


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OldTart
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October 1, 2014 11:40 am  

"This first sentence is incorrect. I don't think they've run every hour for at least 15 years. Not sure if times are correct. Didn't read further."

If you read further it clearly says:
"The public bus system is not very reliable so is not recommended for people on a tight or limited time schedule."


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ms411
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October 1, 2014 11:44 am  

I know that sentence is there, but that still doesn't make up for incorrect information. It should read it is not reliable, and users should have plan b if relying on public transportation.


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OldTart
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October 1, 2014 11:47 am  

I know that sentence is there, but that still doesn't make up for incorrect information. It should read it is not reliable, and users should have plan b if relying on public transportation.

The horse is led to water ...

If you believe the information is incorrect then confirm it and let the site managers know.


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