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Public Transportation in Sainte-Marie

Mastering the public transportation system in Sainte-Marie is a crucial aspect of adapting to life there. This article provides a detailed overview of the available local transit options.

Sainte-Marie, a picturesque town on the northeast coast of Martinique, offers a glimpse into the island’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Public transportation in Sainte-Marie, and Martinique as a whole, primarily consists of a network of buses known as the “TCSP” (Transport Collectif en Site Propre), which is a dedicated bus rapid transit system, and the local “Taxicos,” which are shared taxis operating on specific routes. While Sainte-Marie does not boast an extensive public transportation system like larger cities, these options can be sufficient for an expat to navigate the town and its surroundings. However, for those looking to explore more remote areas or seeking the convenience of travel on their own schedule, having a car might be preferable.

TCSP – Bus Rapid Transit

The TCSP is Martinique’s answer to efficient and modern public transportation. Although its network is more concentrated around the island’s capital, Fort-de-France, it provides a reliable service for residents and visitors alike. The buses run on dedicated lanes, ensuring a swift commute free from the common traffic congestion. The system is relatively new, having been inaugurated in recent years, and it aims to connect various parts of the island with a high level of service. The buses are equipped with air conditioning, which is a welcome feature in the tropical climate. Fares are affordable, making it an economical choice for daily travel. While the TCSP does not have a direct line to Sainte-Marie, it serves as a backbone for public transportation on the island and can be accessed from nearby towns for longer journeys.


Taxicos are a unique form of public transportation in Martinique, operating similarly to minibuses. They are an integral part of the transport system in Sainte-Marie, providing flexible and frequent service to residents. Taxicos follow specific routes but do not have fixed schedules; instead, they depart when full or nearly full, which can sometimes lead to longer wait times. They are identified by the “TC” sign and a route number. The cost of a ride is reasonable, and the experience of traveling with locals can be quite enjoyable. Taxicos are generally safe, and many locals rely on them for their daily commute, including women and children. For an expat, they offer a practical way to get around town and to nearby locations without the need for a personal vehicle.

While Sainte-Marie does not have a subway or train system, the combination of TCSP and Taxicos covers a significant part of the public transportation needs. The safety of these systems is generally good, with incidents being rare. However, as with any form of public transportation, it is always wise to be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. The cost of using public transportation in Sainte-Marie is quite low compared to many other cities, making it an accessible option for most people.

For an expat living in Sainte-Marie, it is possible to rely on public transportation and walking for daily activities within the town and its immediate surroundings. The town’s compact size makes it conducive to walking, and many essential services and attractions are within a reasonable distance. However, for those wishing to explore more of Martinique’s diverse landscapes and remote beaches, or for expats who need to commute to areas not well-served by public transport, having a car would provide the necessary freedom and convenience.

In conclusion, while Sainte-Marie’s public transportation system may not be as extensive as those found in major metropolitan areas, it provides a functional and authentic way to experience local life. Expats can immerse themselves in the community by using the same transportation as the locals, and with a little planning, can navigate the town and its neighboring areas without the need for a personal vehicle. Nevertheless, for those who wish to venture beyond the reach of public transport, or who value the flexibility of traveling on their own schedule, a car would be a beneficial investment.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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