All the major roads across the Island are served on a regular basis by taxis, buses, mini-buses and/or mini-vans, with the latter two running on pre-determined routes under the direction of the Transport Authority. Mini-vans are often called ZRs (pronounced "zed-ars").
The main buses are run by the government via the Barbados Transport Board, whereas the mini-buses and mini-vans are run by private sector individuals who have been granted a licence by the Transport Authority.
Many routes require a connection via the main bus terminals in Bridgetown. However, some services run a direct route that don't require taking multiple buses. This is most common with some routes offered by the Barbados Transport Board.
If you need to travel between the west and south coast, you usually need to catch a connecting bus via the main bus terminals in Bridgetown.
Whenever in doubt about which bus you need to catch, don't hesitate to ask a local resident.
Current bus & taxi fares
Bus fares are regulated by the government and are currently set at BDS $3.50. This fare applies for each one-way journey on a single bus; if you need to catch a connecting bus, the fare is payable again.
Taxi fares are also regulated by the government and are set at fixed rates for specific routes. See current taxi fares.
Paying for your bus fare
All buses accept only cash payments.
These operators run on an exact fare system; no change is given. Payments must be in Barbados Dollars and are paid into a fare box. You must pay the fare as soon as you embark. Paper notes must be unfolded and shown to the bus driver before being deposited.
When you are approaching your destination, press the nearest 'stop' button to let the bus driver know that you want to disembark at the next bus stop.
Mini-Buses and Mini-Vans
These operators prefer to work on an exact fare system, but can usually provide change. Payments should be made in Barbados Dollars, but they usually also accept US dollars at an exchange rate of USD $1 = BDS $2. If you need change, you are likely to be given Barbados Dollars because the US dollar is not legal tender in Barbados.
Most mini-vans have conductors on board that will take your fare just before you disembark. If there is no conductor on board, you usually pay the driver just before you exit, or at the window after you disembark.
When you are approaching your destination, press the nearest 'stop' button (usually located above the window) which will let the conductor or bus driver know that you want to disembark at the next bus stop.
Alternatively, just let the conductor or bus driver know by speaking out loud. You may also occasionally see locals tapping on the side windows. This is another, albeit much less frequent, way for us to tell the bus driver that we want to disembark.
Mini-vans are notorious on the Island for speeding and playing loud music. If this may bother you, consider taking a government bus instead.