Vitran/Safari Bus R...
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Vitran/Safari Bus Route Map

Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter

Hello all!

Are there any route maps posted on-line, or a place where I can call & have these mailed to me? Does anyone know the routes? There was a teacher on here that posted that she took the Safari bus to/from work from the 'East side' of the island back to Charlotte every day for work (which is awesome I must say) but I'm wondering if the safari's also head north & south and/or if a lot of them pass through/near Tutu Park mall. I'm planning my move for October/early November and already have maps drawn out with where all of the retail stores are located - now I just need to figure out how I'll get to them!

Thanks again - this forum is exceptionally helpful! I'd like to meet some of you once I'm settled in.


Posted : January 13, 2011 6:59 pm
Posts: 3554
Famed Member

There is only a few main roads, so they're what everybody uses. The safari route starts at UVI, goes along the Waterfront to Puerto Long Bay, makes the left heading north, makes the right heading east, goes along Weymouth Rhymer to Tutu Park Mall, makes the right turn at Tillet Gardens, makes the right, and follows that road to Red Hook. The route continues along that road back to Tutu Park Mall, and then goes back to town along the road it came in on. If you have a map, you should be able to trace the route.

Posted : January 13, 2011 9:52 pm
Posts: 501
Honorable Member

Don't you sometimes/lots of times have to switch at KMart/Tutu?

Posted : January 13, 2011 10:26 pm
Exit Zero
Posts: 2460
Famed Member

The safari buses are not Vitran buses.

Posted : January 14, 2011 5:33 am
Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter

Yeah sorry for not clarifying - do they both follow the same routes or do the Vitran buses run different routes then the Safari buses?

ms411 - thanks for the info.

Is there no way to get a route map for the Vitran buses then???

Posted : January 14, 2011 3:18 pm
Posts: 2104
Noble Member

The VITRAN Buses are handicap accessible, enclosed, air conditioned, operate on holidays and offer discounts to select groups. Unfortunately, the service is unreliable.

In St Thomas, you may wait for an hour or more for the bus to arrive. The air-conditioned buses travel outward from Charlotte Amalie. A change in Sugar Estate is necessary for points east. Wait for the buses at the stops marked with VITRAN signs. Fares run USD1 for trips to distant locations and USD75 cents for city trips.

In St John, the buses tend to wait for the ferry to arrive in Cruz Bay on the west end, and then travel along the Centerline Road through to Coral Bay on the east end, and then to Salt Pond Bay. From Cruz Bay the bus leaves at 6am, 7am, and then 25 minutes past the hour until 7:25pm. From Salt Pond Bay the bus leaves at 5am, 6am, 7am, 8am and then 10 minutes after the hour until 8:10pm. The fare is $1 a person. Senior Citizens receive a discounted fare of $.55. This bus service is not dependable.


The "DOLLAR BUS" was born after the island was devastated by hurricane Marilyn. The Dollar Bus man would drive back and forth across the island shouting anywhere for a dollar. He was so sought after and crowded that more safari buses continued to follow in his tracks. This eventually became the public's enterprising way of solving the unsolvable government problem of a dysfunctional public bus system. The Dollar bus allows the local population access to and around the island in an affordable manner.

For visitors, using the dollar bus can be tricky. Remember, the route follows a figure 8 pattern.

Beginning at the West End of the island, at the university of the Virgin Islands on St Thomas, the safari buses travel along the main waterfront highway past Crownbay Cruise Ship Dock, Subbase, Frenchtown and along the waterfront shopping district.

There is a bus stop at the Vendor's Plaza and then the bus will wind along backroads past the High School, The Sugar Estate Post Office and the Hospital then it will pass the Pizza Hut and McDonalds and drive up the Raphune Hill stopping in the Cost U Less Shopping Center and the Caribbean Cinemas Market Place.

From there, the buses drive towards Fort Mylner stopping again in Tutu at the Tutu Park Mall in front of the main entrance to the Big K K-Mart Store. Then, the buses make a loop first driving North through Tutu and then turning east going over the top of Cassi Hill, down through Smith Bay passing the turn off for Coki Beach and Coral World, past the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort, Point Pleasant Resort, Sapphire Beach Resort and finally stopping briefly to pick up more passengers at the Ferry Terminal in Red Hook at the very eastern end of St Thomas opposite the Marina Market Grocery Store.

The buses will continue through Red Hook passing Eudora Kean High School on the right and bearing to the right after passing the Dominican Fruit Stands and then traveling up Route 32 passing the National Guard Armory on the right.

At the top of that hill is the east end of the island's only stop light at an intersection, dangerous because it peaks at a blind spot coming from both directions.

Thru the light and driving down the hill, the taxis pass the Domino's gas station and the Food Center on the right winding for about a mile with marinas on the left.

Virgin Islands Ecotours marina is the final stop before leaving the Mangrove Lagoon area and then entering an industrial area of a road with concrete and rock quarries.

At the next intersection with a four way stop light, the safari buses turns right and returns to the K-mart at the Tutu Park Mall.

Any passenger originating from the ferry dock, Red hook, the marinas or Virgin Islands Ecotours, and wanting to return to Wyndham Sugar Bay, Point Pleasant or Sapphire Beach on the North East Road must disembark at the K-Mart and pay the taxi the $1 and then wait for another safari bus that is returning east to "the country" (towards Red Hook).

Otherwise, riders remain on the taxi and continue on towards Havensite turning right at the Wendy's and then driving into and thru Charlotte Amalie, then passing Frenchtown, Crown Bay, the Airport and continuing onward towards the University of the Virgin Islands.

At any point along this route, the passengers need only flag their hand to the driver of a safari bus and the bus will stop long enough to get on and then will continue on this figure 8 route. When the passenger wishes to depart the bus, a door bell should be reachable that will alert the driver to stop. If one cannot find the door bell, it is customary to pound your foot on the floor of the bus a few times so that they know to stop. Immediately upon stopping, go straight to the window of the driver to pay him the dollar bill. Inflation has hit, so if you cross over the K-Mart area in Tutu, one is expected to pay $2, but if only the one loop is traversed, then only a single dollar needs to be paid.

If you plan on walking or biking around, you should plan on losing a lot of weight, because many things are spread out on the island, and it is very hilly. You may also find the roads and hills are very steep and going up is almost physically impossible, especially on a bicycle. The second and more important caveat is that most of these winding narrow roads do not have sidewalks. You may start off on a sidewalk and find yourself walking in a gut (a dry river bed). It is very easy to sprain an ankle, never mind being hit by an oncoming car that is not visible until the last moment.

Posted : January 14, 2011 4:07 pm
Posts: 2138
Noble Member

Wow, awesome post Bombi! I don't live on STT, but I found it very interesting and educational.

Posted : January 14, 2011 8:26 pm
Posts: 3554
Famed Member

But TripAdvisor has the bus and safari routes mixed up. The safari doesn't generally go by the high school, and fare can be $2. The dollar man started before Marilyn. There may be other issues.

Posted : January 14, 2011 8:40 pm
Posts: 7
Active Member

Does VITRAN not have a website? Would seem an obvious way to provide route maps, schedules, policies, etc., but google reveals no such obvious site...

Posted : March 21, 2018 12:00 pm
Posts: 2935
Famed Member

Life in the VI!

So 20 years ago.

Posted : March 21, 2018 1:35 pm
Posts: 8867
Illustrious Member

you do know where you are, dont you. lol. that would be too obvious

Does VITRAN not have a website? Would seem an obvious way to provide route maps, schedules, policies, etc., but google reveals no such obvious site...

Posted : March 21, 2018 5:30 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

NotCook: What's the deal with stirring up 8-9 year old threads? Things do not work in the VI like people think they should. Not in 2009, 2011 or even in 2018.

Posted : March 21, 2018 8:44 pm
Posts: 2434
Noble Member

If they had a web site it would be out of date or missing the useful information you are looking for. Like the VIWMA web site.

Posted : March 22, 2018 12:13 am
Posts: 3554
Famed Member

Like they say here, the people that use the bus know the route and schedule.8-)

Posted : March 22, 2018 2:47 pm
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