Jamaica has a number of forms of public transportation.

Private driver

Hire a driver to make your visit more like home. Your hotel, resort, or villa can arrange for a qualified Jamaican driver with a car to take you anywhere on the island. The price will often be by the day or half day and should be agreed to before start of the trip.

Public bus

The public bus in Jamaica is very inexpensive, but expect a VERY long wait at the stop and a crowded bus. Public bus service is offered in only two cities in Jamaica:

Kingston - Jamaican Urban Transit Company (JUTC) a division of The Ministry of Transport and Works. For information call (876) 749-3196 or see them at 1 Michael Manley Drive, Spanish Town. Public transit generally goes through one or more of three central transportation hubs:

  • Downtown (Parade and the Downtown Transport Center).
  • Half-Way Tree Transport Center (uptown Kingston).
  • Cross Roads.

There is public bus service to/from the Kingston airport and the Downtown Transport Center where many bus connections can be made.

Montego Bay - Montego Bay Metro, a division of The Ministry of Transport and Works. Montego Bay Metro (telephone (876) 952-5500;  office 19A Union St.) introduced in 2000 a municipal bus service. Montego Bay Metro now operates three routes:

  • Greenwood to City Centre.
  • Sandy Bay to City Centre.
  • Cambridge to City Centre.

No public bus service is available to/from the Montego Bay airport to downtown Montego Bay or any other place on the island. For transportation between the airport and hotels, resorts, and villas use a taxi or a hotel transfer service. This service can be arranged in advance by phone or e-mail or it can be arranged at the Montego Bay airport in the transportation hall.

Route taxi and private taxis

Route taxis are the most efficient way to travel in Jamaica. Look for a car with red licence plates (see below) and a description of the route on the side of the car. They run about $1US every 5 miles or so and you'll see them most everywhere on the island. Keep in mind that your driver will pick up others along the way until the car is completely full. Expect frequent stops and up to four in the back seat. Depending on where you wish to go, you may need more than one route taxi to reach your destination.

Much more costly but also abundantly available are private taxis (aka tourist taxis). These will run $15-20US per hour.

Remember to settle on a price before you get in a private taxi or a route taxi. Drivers normally take cash, and there is one service; Gevani's Transport Inc that accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express in all their vehicles and can be contacted via gevanistransportinc@gmail.com or +1-876-448-2118 or +1-347-389-0535. Prices can be quoted in both Jamaican or $US Dollars. The maid at your hotel can often be a good information on the price of a given trip via route taxi.

All taxies, both route taxies and tourist taxies, as well as busses have license plates that are red with two white letters. One of the letters will be 'P' and there will be four white digits. Vehicles with other license plates are not licensed to carry paying passengers and should be avoided.

Railroad

There is currently no passenger rail service on the island.