Travelling by Bus

Travelling by Bus

Written on 09/08/2017
Discover (Mauritius)

Buses in Mauritius

Bus travel is cheap and fun! You'll usually find yourself chatting to outgoing, social and gregarious locals – and although you won't see any land-speed records, it's generally a fairly easy and reliable way to get around. There is no countrywide bus service. The bus routes criss-cross the entire island and Instead there are several large regional bus companies and scores of individual operators. This is perhaps one of the facets that make the island exotic. Your bus will arrive at the time that it is supposed to arrive. As there is no stated time, it cannot be late! Locals are the best source of information and can help you work out the best way to get from A to B. You will find people living a rather slow pace of life, except in the capital where the daytime population is dense due to commuting workers and office hours make it more noticeable.

The buses are almost always packed, especially on the main routes, but turnover is quick at all the stops. If you start the trip standing, you're likely to end up sitting! There are two main types of buses in Mauritius, standard and express -the most visible ones are the United Bus Service (UBS) and the National Transport Corporation (NTC), locally known as the Red bus and Blue bus. Use the express ones if you can as they are air conditioned and much faster since they don't stop every few meters like the standard ones do.  But you will be charged extra for that little cold breeze. Also, if you travel with a large bag, you won’t have to pay for an extra seat!

Buses operate from 5.30 am - 8.00 pm in built up areas and 6.30 am - 6.30 pm in the countryside, however there's also a late service between Port Louis and Curepipe until 10:00 pm. To give you an idea about the duration of journey: a trip from the airport to Port Louis might take up to 1h - 1h30.

In terms of price, a bus ticket is very cheap, from Rs.18 (approx. € 0.50) for a short trip to Rs.30  (approx. € 1 ) for a long one, so you might want to keep some change in your pockets! You can buy the tickets from the conductors and you will need to keep the ticket until your end of journey as there are inspectors that often get on board. Alas, there is no such thing as an operator independent ticket which could be used across the island, so you will need to buy a ticket each time you get on a bus. If you want to get off at a certain stop, you're expected to press the Red buzzer which is present right at the top of the Window Frame.