Cayman's roads have undergone many changes recently, and there are many more to come with hopes of alleviating the Island’s rush-hour traffic congestion. These include the expansion of the Linford Pierson Highway, the extension of Elgin Avenue, Crewe Road realignment and Grand Harbour widening and improvement. Although this has significantly improved traffic, it has pushed the bottleneck elsewhere, meaning new road developments are perpetually planned and underway. The National Roads Authority will be working on the following projects in 2023. You can find out more about these and other projects by visiting www.caymanroads.com.
- Godfrey Nixon Way extension connecting Eastern Avenue to the main George Town area.
- Airport Connector Road linking the roundabout by Cayman International School with Sparky’s Drive in the Industrial Park. Eventually, the road will link to the Owen Roberts International Airport.
- East-West Arterial widening to four lanes along a 0.6 mile long stretch of the highway from Poindexter Road to Hirst Road.
- Frank Sound Seaview Road intersection upgrades include adding turning lanes.
- East-West Arterial Road expansion extending from Woodland Drive, Savannah to Lookout Gardens, Bodden Town, pending an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
There is debate as to whether these changes will have a lasting effect on reducing traffic congestion, or if widening the roads is more of a temporary solution. According to the DVDL the number of imported road vehicles grew by 26.2% in 2021 and records show that 57,193 vehicles are registered, and 61,441 driver’s licences have been issued.
To tackle unlicensed vehicles, the Government has installed several fixed scanners along Cayman’s road network. The first of which is mounted on the entrances and exits of the underpasses along West Bay Road and the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. The scanners read details from the vehicle’s electronic number plate, and the information collected will determine the status of the licence, registration, and insurance. Eventually, these machines may be able to issue electronic tickets, but for now, their purpose is to collect information for the police and traffic department and crack down on traffic and licensing violations.
Owning a car still has advantages including little traffic (outside of rush hour), free parking in most locations and virtually no traffic wardens! Depending on the size of your family and in which district of the Island you live and work, you may need multiple cars, unless you are prepared to be entirely beholden to the person that has the car.
It is unsurprising that owning and driving your own car is the most convenient, comfortable and speedy mode of transport in the Cayman Islands. Temperature, precarious driving, the lack of sidewalks and inadequate bike paths rule out walking or cycling for most people. The local bus network is intermittent and does not cover all areas. In addition, waiting in the hot sunshine to then sit on a crowded minibus with little or no air conditioning is not everyone’s idea of an ideal daily commute.
Taxis and Taxi Apps
After years of complaints that different taxis charged different rates for the same journey, the Cayman Island's Government have created a digital taxifare calculator, CI:GO, which can be downloaded from the App store. It is free and is available on iOS and in the Google Play Store.
Island Ride is an app that you can download and then you can book a car to come and pick you up anytime from 5pm-11pm. Since everything is booked and paid for through the app there is no need for cash. The service is available anywhere within Georgie Town, Seven Mile Beach and the West Bay area. For more information or to download the app see www.islandride.ky.
For other taxi companies you can call Ace (345) 949 3676, Blue Iguana Taxi (345) 916 3306 or Crown (345) 916 0111.
Benefits of Owning a Car
Nonetheless, the most convenient, comfortable and speedy mode of transport on-Island is owning your own car. Temperature, relentless summer rains, precarious driving and the lack of sidewalks rule out the options of walking or cycling, while the local bus network is intermittent and does not cover all areas. In addition, waiting in the hot sunshine to then sit on a crowded minibus with little, or no air conditioning, is not everyone’s idea of the ideal daily commute. There are some major bonuses that Cayman car travel retains: little traffic (outside of rush-hour), free parking in 99% of locations and virtually no traffic wardens! If you are a couple or have a family, then the discussion will arise as to whether you need one car or two. In our experience, you will need two cars, unless you are prepared to be entirely beholden to the person that has the car.