As part of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’s integrated programme to alleviate traffic congestion on the country’s roads, a Water-taxi Service between North and South Trinidad will be established. The primary objective is to provide commuters with an alternative and efficient means of transport between the coastal cities of Port of Spain and San Fernando, and the Borough of Point Fortin. This will help to ease the traffic congestion along the North-South Highway, and ultimately the East-West Corridor, through the significant reduction in the number of vehicles on the main artery into Port of Spain. Additionally, estimated travelling time between destinations for the Water-taxi Service is 30 to 45 minutes, a major reduction from the current time of two to three hours that is experienced during peak hours. The Water-taxi Service is designed to complement existing modes of public transport (e.g. taxis, maxi-taxis or bus services).
The key, expected benefits from this service are:
Considerably reduced travel time relative to vehicular mode of transportation into Port of Spain.
Significant reduction in the number of vehicles on the main artery into Port of Spain, thereby offering relief to the commuters who must use vehicles to and from work.
Greater sense of personal safety for commuters who rely on taxis.
Opportunity for improvement in the quality of the lives of families because less time is spent commuting.
Reduced stress caused by traffic congestion, with the potential for improved worker productivity.
Operating the Water-taxi Service
The first phase of the project involves the establishment of a Water-taxi Service from Port of Spain to San Fernando. The Water-taxi will operate in the relatively calm waters of The Gulf of Paria between key urban centres/ towns/ industrial estates on the west coast of Trinidad. The proposed docking areas for the water-taxis are:
Breakfast Shed (Port of Spain)
Flatrock (San Fernando)
Point Fortin (Clifton Hill)
Waterloo (Chaguanas/ Orange Valley)
Point Cumana (north of Invaders Bay).
These areas offer easy access to main roads. Where required, a jetty will be constructed at the docking locations to facilitate customers’ comfort. All areas will be secured, and security officers will be onboard all vessels.
The service caters for all commuters, including low, middle, and high income individuals. The $15, one-way fare will be affordable.
The vessels identified for the Water-taxi Service are high-speed Catamarans. To handle the expected volume of passengers utilising the service, it is deemed necessary to have four Catamarans of various, holding capacities operating on the route. The Water-taxi Service is expected to transport approximately 9,000 persons daily.
The estimated cost of the Water-taxi Service is TT$252 million. NIDCO has embarked upon the procurement of services, and has completed preliminary engineering.