When you say spring, you say book travel. On our list this year is the tropical island of Curacao, which together with Aruba and Bonaire forms the Leeward Islands. The beautiful island in the Caribbean is known for its paradise beaches and colorful architecture. An excellent opportunity for us to explore mobility in another part of the Netherlands.
You would think that the island has also undergone an important transformation in terms of mobility in recent years. New initiatives, green technologies and investments in infrastructure should lead to an evolution of transport on the island, with the aim of creating a more efficient, sustainable and accessible transport system for both local residents and tourists.
None of that is true. Frans Timmermans' green transition is still a long way off there. Buses with smelly diesel engines wait for tourists at the exit of the airport to take them to the hotels. And so it has been for years on this beautiful island. The popularity of electric vehicles has increased globally as well Curaçao is no exception.
With the support of the local government and private initiatives, more and more electric cars can be found on the island. This responds to the growing demand for sustainable transport and the reduction of CO2 emissions. The expansion of the network of charging stations throughout the island facilitates the use of electric cars and offers new opportunities for both residents and visitors.
bicycles and cycle paths
Curaçao has the potential to become a bicycle-friendly island, given its relatively short distances and flat terrain. In recent years, more and more cycle paths and routes have been built to make cycling safer and more attractive. This investment in cycling infrastructure helps promote a healthier and more environmentally friendly form of transport, while also making it an attractive option for tourists looking to explore the island in a different way.
Curaçao mainly has two types of public transport. There is the so-called 'Convoy', large buses that run longer routes to the corners of the island and you have minibuses that run shorter routes, mainly in the center of Willemstad and Sea Aquarium Beach. Autobusbedrijf Curaçao NV, better known as ABC Busbedrijf or ABC, provides the services of the public transport on Curacao.
There are plans to modernize and expand the existing bus network to provide more frequent and reliable connections between urban and rural areas. In addition, the possibility of electrifying public transport in Curaçao is being examined, which would make a significant contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions on the island.
Uber or Lyft
There are no private transportation services in Curaçao such as Uber or Lyft. The island of Curacao has always depended on taxi drivers when it comes to transportation services for tourists. Even though the island has seen a lot of growth in the tourism sector, it is still stuck in time when it comes to laws and regulations related to the transportation of tourists. The government has not made any changes to the laws to allow permits to be issued to independent drivers or companies such as Uber.
Don't worry, it's not all bad news. Please note that the island's taxis do not use meters, so bear in mind that they set the fare depending on where you want to go. Taxis are very commonly used by visitors to the island.
This time we opted for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from TUI for our trip. When it comes to green mobility, not the best choice. But in any case, we opted for a company that has alternatives to flying and also does everything it can to invest in sustainability. On the island we go to West point en East point with a rental car. We wanted to do that with an electric car, given the relatively short distances. Unfortunately, that was a story in itself, more about that later in this series.
Curaçao is a sun-drenched island located in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea, about 65 kilometers north of Venezuela. It is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and its official languages are Dutch, Papiamentu and English. The island covers an area of 444 square kilometers and has a population of about 160.000. Curaçao is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and colorful colonial architecture, particularly in the capital Willemstad.
Tourism, financial services and the oil industry are important pillars of the local economy. The island boasts a rich history and diverse culture, with influences of European, African and Latin American descent. Curaçao is a popular destination for holidaymakers looking for sun, sea, beach and a unique cultural experience.