Fiji Buses, Local And Express

Fiji has a great public transport system, and the buses are used by locals and tourists alike.

Safe, reliable, if rather slow, they are an extremely cheap way of getting around Viti Levu.

They have recently moved to a pre paid card system for fares, rather than accepting money. As a tourist, you can purchase a card loaded with whatever amount you need at any Vodafone shop. Then when you catch a bus (both local and express) you just tap the card against the machine as you board, and it will print a receipt and show you your remaining balance. These are valid for 30 days only.

Drivers are not supposed to accept cash, although in practice some will if you don't have a card. Most buses carry a few spare prepay cards with them, so if you're stuck you might be able to purchase one as you board.

Paying the fare on a Fijan bus
Paying the fare on a Fijan bus

Local Buses: Some have windows, some don't (they have tarps you can roll down if it's raining). They are stopping constantly to drop off or pick up passengers, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. You have plenty of time! To give you an idea of prices on a local bus, I recently caught a local bus from the main Suva bus terminal to Nausori airport. A taxi would have cost me at least $30, the fare for the local bus? FJ$1.55 to Nausori, and another FJ$5 for a taxi to the airport. Sure, it takes a lot longer, but you’re on Fiji time remember?

A local bus parked up in Nadi
A local bus parked up in Nadi

Express Buses: These are the buses that travel longer distances, and as the name implies, they are express. They stop at designated bus stops only, making for a much quicker journey compared to the local buses.

You will find most of these are very modern and well appointed coaches, with Air Conditioning, comfortable seats... some of the overnight buses between Lautoka and Suva even play a movie or some music for the passengers.

A bus fare from Nadi to Suva (or reverse) will cost in the region of FJ$20. That is not much more than you pay for a shuttle, and while it takes longer by bus, at least you can expect to arrive in one piece.

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