Tunisia — Transportation
Tunisia Taxis and Car Rental
Most Tunisian taxis are known as louages, long-distance shared vehicles similar to minibuses. Louages travel throughout Tunisia but do not depart until there are a sufficient number of passengers inside. Louage fees are roughly on a par with Tunisian rail and bus fees, and stations are situated throughout the country. Western-style private taxis are most easily found in Tunisia’s largest cities and resorts. Tunisie Taxi (+216-22-204-022) and Allo Taxi (+216-71-383-311) are two of the most reputable private taxi companies in Tunis.
Car rental is fairly easy to find in Tunisia, but also fairly costly, as most rental fees also include breakdown cover and compulsory insurance. Motorists must be at least 21 years old to rent vehicles in Tunisia. Major Tunisian roads are generally on a par with their counterparts in Europe and the United States, but Arabic and French are the only languages displayed on most road signs. Scarce parking spots and narrow streets are the biggest problems relating to driving in Tunis, and police rarely enforce traffic rules with the frequently reckless Tunisian drivers.
Tunisia Water Taxis
The La Goulette port near Tunis has become a popular stop for cruises and ferries sailing from Malta, Italy, and France. Ferries also link Jerba Island with El Jorf and the Kerkennah Islands with Sfax.
Tunisia Trains and Buses
SNT and TCV are the two main bus companies in Tunis. The green-and-white privately owned TCV buses cost more than the SNT buses. However, bus destinations and maps are written only in Arabic. The five-line Métro Léger tramway and efficient TGM train are the two other main public transportation options in Tunis.
Inter-city bus service in Tunisia is fairly easy to use and vehicles are comfortable. Many Tunisian long distance buses are known as ‘car,’ and buses labeled ‘car comfort’ contain air conditioning and television. ‘Car’ buses travel between Tunis and Hammamet once every half-hour, and departures at most other Tunisian ‘car’ bus stations are equally frequent.
Tunisia’s inter-city rail network may not be as extensive as its bus network, but visitors can nonetheless take trains to most major cities. Trains operated by SNCFT, Tunisia’s main rail network, contain first, second and ‘confort’ classes. First class and summer tickets should be reserved in advance. A voyage aboard the restored 1910 ‘Lezard Rouge’ train between Metlaoui and Redeyef takes passengers past some spectacular Selja Gorge scenery.