Expats might struggle to arrange matters of transport and driving in Puerto Rico. Those living in San Juan will be in a better position than most, thanks to the city's compact size and the availability of the only metro in the country.
Public transport in Puerto Rico, outside of the main cities, is lacking. During rush hour, larger cities in Puerto Rico experience heavy traffic.
Public transport in Puerto Rico
Only San Juan has a metro, known as the Tren Urbano. It is the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
The bus is cheap. The schedule is unreliable, although buses run are known to run every hour. Plans to expand to further towns are in the pipeline.
Públicos are public minibuses. This is the cheapest form of public transport, but offers little in the way of comfort. Públicos tend to leave only when full, therefore there is no set schedule. The destination is displayed on the front of the van.
Passenger ferries operate with limited capacity from the main island to smaller surrounding islands. Tickets should be booked in advance.
Taxis in Puerto Rico
Taxis are available in larger cities. White tourist taxis with turístico logos congregate around tourist areas of San Juan and are required by law to use meters. Non-tourist taxi drivers generally don't use meters, however, so it is best to establish a rate prior to the journey.
Driving in Puerto Rico
Expats moving to San Juan will find that a car is not a necessity. Driving can be dangerous, as local drivers are reputed to ignore traffic laws. However, if expats are interested in exploring the island and taking weekend trips, a car can come in handy. In Puerto Rico, cars drive on the right, and road signs are often in Spanish.
Expats in Puerto Rico will only be able to drive on their foreign licence for 30 days after becoming resident. After this, expats will need to obtain a local licence. The complexity of this will depend on where the initial licence was issued. In some cases the licences can simply be swapped, while in others written and practical tests may be necessary.
Are you an expat living in Puerto Rico?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Puerto Rico. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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