If you plan to do some serious sightseeing on the island, you’ll need to rent a car, as getting around by public transportation is a slow, uneven process.
Remember to drive on the left. In most rural areas, the speed limit is 35 mph; certain parts of the major artery, Route 66, are 55 mph. In towns and urban areas, the speed limit is 20 mph. Keep in mind that if you’re going into the “bush country,” you’ll find the roads very difficult. Sometimes the government smoothes the roads out before the rainy season begins (often in Oct or Nov), but they rapidly deteriorate.
St. Croix offers moderately priced car rentals, even on cars with automatic transmissions and air-conditioning. However, because of the island’s higher-than-normal accident rate (which is partly the result of visitors who forget about driving on the left-hand side of the road), insurance costs are a bit higher than elsewhere. Avis (tel 800/331-1212 or 340/778-9355; www.avis.com), Budget (tel 800/472-3325 or 340/778-9636; www.budget.com), and Hertz (tel 800/654-3131 or 340/778-1402; www.hertz.com) all maintain headquarters at the airport; look for their kiosks near the baggage-claim areas. Collision-damage insurance costs $14 per day, depending on the company and size of car, and we feel that it’s a wise investment. Some credit card companies grant you collision-damage protection, if you pay for the rental with their card. Verify coverage before you go.
At Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport, official taxi rates are posted. From the airport, expect to pay about $16 to $36 to Christiansted and about $12 to $24 to Frederiksted. Even though taxi rates are standardized, cabs are unmetered, so agree on the rate before you get in. Taxis line up at the docks in Christiansted and Frederiksted.
We highly recommend the following taxi drivers (who double as wonderful tour guides): Ames Joseph (tel 340/277-6133) and Francis M. Vazquez (tel 340/690-4045). If they aren’t available, contact the St. Croix Taxicab Association (tel 340/778-1088).
More and more drivers are employing multi-passenger taxi vans and open-air safaris (converted truck beds with open-air seating), ideal for transporting cruise-ship passengers arriving weekly on island excursions.
Air-conditioned buses run between Christiansted and Frederiksted about every 45 minutes daily between 5:30am and 8pm. They start at Tide Village, to the east of Christiansted, and go along Route 75 to the Golden Rock Shopping Center. They transfer along Route 70, with stopovers at the Sunny Isle Shopping Center, La Reine Shopping Center, St. George Village Botanical Garden, and Whim Plantation Museum before reaching Frederiksted. The fare is $1, or 55[ce] for seniors. For more information, call tel 340/773-1664.