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Public Transportation in New Providence

Learning how to get around using public transportation in New Providence is an important step in adjusting to life in New Providence. In this article, we cover the local public transportation options.
|-Public Transportation in New Providence

Welcome to the vibrant island of New Providence, where the turquoise waters meet the bustling streets of Nassau, the capital city. Public transportation here is quite different from the sprawling networks of larger cities. The main modes of transport include buses, known locally as “Jitneys,” and taxis. There’s no subway or train system on the island, and while walking can be a delightful way to explore the local area, the spread-out nature of some attractions and services means that relying solely on foot may not always be practical. For an expat, whether you can forgo a car depends largely on your lifestyle and where you live on the island. Some may find the public transportation sufficient, while others may prefer the convenience of a personal vehicle.


The Jitney buses are the lifeline of public transportation in New Providence. These small buses serve as an affordable and relatively efficient way to navigate around the island. The cost of a ride is usually around $1.25 to $2.50, making it a budget-friendly option for residents and tourists alike. Jitneys operate on various routes that cover most of the island, including popular destinations such as Cable Beach, downtown Nassau, and Paradise Island. However, they do not have a fixed schedule and typically run from early morning until around 6:00 or 7:00 PM, which means that late-night travel requires alternative arrangements. While generally safe, it’s advisable for travelers to remain aware of their surroundings, as with any public transport system. Women and children commonly use Jitneys during the day for various activities, including getting to school or work.


Taxis in New Providence offer a more personalized mode of transport and are readily available, especially around hotels, airports, and tourist hotspots. They are a convenient option for those looking to travel outside of the Jitney operating hours or for direct, door-to-door service. Taxi fares are government-regulated; however, it’s always a good idea to confirm the price with the driver before starting your journey. While taxis are generally safe, it’s recommended to use those that are clearly marked and to prefer those arranged by hotels or reputable companies. For expats, taxis can be a practical option for occasional trips, but the costs can add up quickly compared to other forms of public transport or owning a car.

Car Rentals and Personal Vehicles

For those who prefer the convenience of traveling on their own schedule, car rentals and personal vehicles are popular choices. Renting a car can provide the freedom to explore the island’s various beaches, restaurants, and attractions without being limited by public transport routes or schedules. Owning a car, on the other hand, is something many expats consider for long-term stays. It eliminates the need to plan around the Jitney routes and provides a sense of independence. However, it’s important to note that driving in the Bahamas is on the left side of the road, and navigating the local traffic patterns can take some getting used to for those from countries with right-hand driving.


Walking is a delightful way to experience the local culture, especially in areas like downtown Nassau, where the streets are lined with colorful buildings, shops, and cafes. Many residents enjoy strolling through the historic neighborhoods or along the beachfront. However, the hot and humid climate can make walking long distances uncomfortable, and not all areas have well-maintained sidewalks or pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. For expats living in central locations, combining walking with the use of Jitneys or taxis can be a viable way to get around without a car.

In conclusion, while New Providence may not boast an extensive public transportation system like some major cities, its Jitneys and taxis provide basic coverage for getting around. Expats can live comfortably without a car if they plan their activities around these services and enjoy walking. However, for those who prefer more flexibility and independence, or who live in less centrally located areas, having access to a car can greatly enhance the convenience of island living.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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