The price of bus and ferry travel increased significantly at the beginning of 2013 as government sought to increase revenues. Despite this, travelling around Bermuda on public transport is still great value.
Although the price of some fares rose by 25% they did so from a very low level. The fee hike prior to this took place way back in 2005. In most countries around the world, bus fares are raised almost every year.
Bus fares can be paid in cash to the driver. Savings can be made by purchasing tokens, transportation passes or books of tickets.
Children aged less than five enjoy free travel on both buses and ferries. Kids aged five to 16 enjoy substantial discounts. Seniors from overseas pay the full adult fare (only Bermudian senior citizens travel for free).
We frequently receive questions from readers asking whether it’s cheaper to pay with cash or buy tokens, ticket books, or passes. There is no definitive answer. It depends on where you are staying, how long you are on the island, how much travelling you intend to do and where, etc. You really need to sit down and do the maths.
As a general rule of thumb though:
- If you’re just staying for a few days and plan on taking three or fewer bus trips per day, pay in cash or buy tokens.
- If you are here for a week or longer, and are planning a lot of journeys (but travelling infrequently), then buy a book of bus tickets.
- If you are planning on doing four or more bus journeys every day you are on the island (and/or also plan to travel by ferry), purchase a transportation pass valid for the length of your stay.
The cost of bus travel should also be put into context. Everybody likes to save money, but if saving a couple of dollars on bus fares is going to be a major issue, you may want to think again whether the island is suitable for you. Bermuda is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Prices for most things are significantly higher than in the US, Canada, and Europe. The cost of air tickets, groceries, drinks, meals, hotels etc. are going to have a far greater impact on your budget than bus fares.
Bus Fares – Cash & Tokens
If paying with cash you need to have the exact change in coins to put in the fare box. Paper currency of any denomination is not accepted.
Adults can save 50 cents on each journey by purchasing tokens.
|Regular fare||3 zones||$3.00||$2.50|
|Regular fare||14 zone||$4.50||$4.00|
|Children 5 - 16||All zones||$2.00||-|
|Children under 5||All zones||Free||-|
Fares are classified as either 3-zone or 14-zone. Bermuda is divided up into 14 bus zones, each roughly two miles long. 3-zone fares allow you to travel through 3-zones or approximately 6 miles. 14-zone fares allow you to travel any distance.
The zones are marked on the bus timetable which you will be able to pick up once you arrive on the island.
As a quick guide:
- If you are on a cruise ship docking at Royal Naval Dockyard (Kings Wharf/Heritage Wharf), a 3-zone fare will get you as far as West Whale Bay. If you’re travelling any further you’ll need to pay the 14-zone fare.
- If you are starting your journey at the Central Terminal in Hamilton, a 3-zone fare will allow you to travel west until the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse/Fairmont Southampton. Travelling east, a 3-zone fare would take you as far as the Pink Beach Club (on south shore routes) or Shelly Bay (on north shore routes).
Public Transportation Passes
Transportation passes provide unlimited travel on both buses and ferries. If you’re planning on doing a lot of travelling every day throughout your vacation (four or more journeys) you should buy a transportation pass.
1 Day Pass
2 Day Pass
3 Day Pass
4 Day Pass
7 Day Pass
1 Month Pass
3 Month Pass
Passes can be purchased that are valid for periods ranging from 1 day to 3 months. The pass is simply a piece of card with a calendar printed on it. The days that the pass is valid are simply marked on the card. Days must run consecutively. You can’t, for example, purchase a 3-day pass and activate it for say Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Monthly passes are great value. They are valid for a complete calendar month (from the first day to the last), and not 30 days from purchase. If you are staying for a week or longer, and your entire trip falls within one month, they are the best option.
There’s no personally identifiable information on passes, so you can transfer them if you wish.
If you’ve rented a scooter, you can take it on the ferry for free if you have a pass. If you’re paying with cash or tokens, you need to pay an extra $4 to take the scooter on the ferry.
The vast majority of cruise ships visiting Bermuda now dock at Royal Naval Dockyard and spend three days in port. In most cases the ship arrives in Bermuda early in the morning and departs two days later in the afternoon. If you’re a passenger on such a ship we believe the two-day pass will be your best option.
We’d advise spending day one and day two of your in time in port using the pass to explore the numerous attractions the island has to offer. On your final day it’s a good idea to stay at, or close to, Dockyard (there are plenty of things to see and do). Bermuda has a great public transport system but things can go wrong (buses sometimes break down, get full etc.). Make no mistake; the cruise ship will leave on time.
Books of 15 individual bus tickets are also available. You simply tear one out when you need one. They’re a good option if you’re planning to do a lot of travel, but your trips aren’t going to be concentrated in a short time period.
Book of 15 Tickets
The adult fare for a 14 zone trip works out at $2, considerably less than the $4.50 it would cost if paying by cash.