To get on the bus that takes me to you
I'm so nervous, I just sit and smile
Your house is only another mile
Thank you, driver, for getting me here
You'll be an inspector, have no fear
I don't want to cause no fuss But can I buy your Magic Bus? – The Who
The actual port town of St. George’s is about three miles from Grand Anse Beach. The port town is the epicenter of Grenada. This is where cruise ships port, farmers and local merchants sell their goods, and where most tourists visit.
Although I consider three miles a totally walk-able trek, the sidewalks and traffic (driving on the left side, British-style, and somewhat crazy), make it necessary to get a ride. And up pulls the “Reggae Bus.”
Why are they called reggae buses? I’d assume it’s because of the local reggae/island rap jams that each bus rocks along to while transporting passengers. This music sometimes cracks me up because they use random lines from US rap songs as hooks and chorus lines and its total copyright infringement, but who even knows this music exists? Granted when I say “bus” I really mean a van that is designed to hold 15 passengers in the rear, and two in the front (although in the US would probably hold seven-passengers comfortably). With that said traveling on the reggae bus is crowded, hot (no A/C), sticky (pleather/vinyl seats), but its dirt cheap: a ride to town is $2.50 EC, just under $1 US (or $2 US total, round-trip).
Another interesting thing about the reggae bus is that you don’t catch it, it catches you. Instead of waving down a reggae bus, as one would do for a cab in a city, you just wait until one beeps at you and the doorman yells out “St. George’s!” Then you yell “yea mon” or just wave and run towards the bus.
Each bus has two employees, the driver and the doorman. In my experience the drivers vary widely in age and style, but the doormen are generally young guys in their mid-20’s to early 30’s who all bear a striking resemblance to Kanye West, with their baller-baller-bling-bling earrings and aviator shades. The doormen sit in the back working the sliding door on the left side of the bus, helping passengers get themselves and any shopping bags or packages on and off, taking payment and making change.
If you’re traveling to the town of St. George’s, the bus will take you to the end of the line at a parking area right next to the cruise ship terminal. If you need to get off sooner along the route, you just knock loudly on the window or ceiling (however if you don’t ride the bus to the end, be prepared to jump out of a moving vehicle…I’m just saying). The whole thing sounds crazy, but it’s a great system of transportation, cheap, fast, and certainly beats walking.