Guyana’s transport sector comprises the physical infrastructure, docks and vehicle, terminals, fleets, ancillary equipment and service delivery of all the various modes of transport operating in Guyana.
Air transportation for business and pleasure is readily available for traveling to many parts of the hinterland. Several local airlines depart from both Ogle Airport on the East Coast Demerara, 6 miles (9.7 km) south-east of Georgetown and from Cheddi Jagan International Airport, at Timehri, 25 miles (40 km) south-west of Georgetown.
Within the country, air transportation provides a link between the coastal areas and communities in the hinterland, many of which are inaccessible by any other means of transportation. Thus, the economic and social well-being of these areas and their integration into the fabric of the nation are critically dependent on the availability of air transport. Externally, passengers are moved to and from the country almost entirely by air. Currently, there are five (5) international carriers operating in and out of the Cheddie Jagan International Airport. http://www.cjairport-gy.com/?q=airline
Carriage of cargo, especially exports, is expected to increase with the recently announced cargo service by Dynamic Airways. Presently, there are 3 operators. http://www.cjairport-gy.com/?q=cargo-agents
The government of Guyana and Brazil signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2012 to explore the development of Hydro Power, Linden-Lethem Road and Deep Water Harbour to boost bilateral trade and cooperation. This network would have enabled easy access by road to the neighbouring countries of Brazil, Venezuela and Suriname.
Ferry services link the primary roads in the coastal area, and Guyana with Suriname. The Government’s Transport and Harbour Department provides scheduled ferry services in the Essequibo and Demerara rivers. Small privately owned river-craft supplement these services. Since the opening of the Berbice River Bridge in December 2008 the Transport and Harbour Department has reduced its service
For the movement of bulky low-value goods over great distances, water transport is cheapest. This is especially true in Guyana, where the road infrastructure is poorly advanced. Moreover, with the widespread decentralization of economic activity that is being proposed by the government, and with the corresponding development of the interior regions of the country, the demand for water transport might, perhaps paradoxically, increase rather than diminish.
The infrastructure that supports water transport in Guyana is located along the banks of the navigable rivers, namely, the Essequibo River, Demerara River and Berbice River. In addition to the wharves and stellings that provide coastal and inland linkages, there are facilities that handle both the country’s overseas and local shipping requirements.
A large percentage of exports and imports are transported by sea. The main port of Georgetown, located at the mouth of the Demerara River, comprises several wharves, most of which are privately owned. In addition, three berths are available for oceangoing vessels at Linden.
Draught constraints limit the size of vessels using Georgetown’s harbour to 15,000 tonnes deadweight (DWT). However, recent improvements in the channel in the Berbice River have made it possible for ships of up to 55,000 DWT to dock there.
Guyana’s foreign trade is handled by foreign shipping companies. The largest bulk exports are bauxite and sugar, and the largest volume imports are petroleum and wheat flour. Other important break-bulk exports include rice and timber.
Containers are used but because they are not part of the internal transport system, they are loaded and unloaded at the ports.
Internal barge transport is important for bauxite, sugar, rice and aggregates. In the case of sugar, for example, 98 percent of exports is delivered by barge to the port of Georgetown for export. Rivers are used for moving logs and account also for a significant share of those persons who travel to the interior.
It is estimated that about 1,000 kilometers of waterways in Guyana are utilized for commerce in Guyana. In addition, drainage canals are important transport channels for collecting sugar on the estates and for personal travel.
Total: 187 km (all dedicated to ore transport)
Standard gauge: 139 km; 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Narrow gauge: 48 km; 3 ft (914 mm) gauge
See also: Railways in Guyana
Total: 7,970 km
Paved: 590 km
Unpaved: 7,380 km (1996 est.)
• Driving is on the left, a practice inherited from United Kingdom colonial authorities. Guyana & Suriname are the only 2 countries on the (in-land) American continent who still drive on the left.
5,900 km total of navigable waterways; Berbice River, Demerara River, and Essequibo River are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km, respectively
Seaports and harbors
• New Amsterdam
51 (1999 est.)
International Airport: Cheddi Jagan International Airport
Airports – with paved runways:
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (1999 est.)
Airports – with unpaved runways:
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 37 (1999 est.)
Driving in Guyana
Traffic drive on the Left and seat belts are necessary by Law. If travelling to Guyana and you wish to drive, please enquire with the Customs Officer upon entry into Guyana for a local driving permit. Be sure to bring your international license to show. The permit is granted on spot and if free of charge.
Taxi and Buses
Georgetown is well served with taxis, which operate throughout the city and to other urban centres. Taxis are easy to find outside most hotels and throughout Georgetown. Enquire of the rate before embarking upon travel. Private taxis are easily arranged through your local hotel or by calling one of the recommended taxi services.
There are also ultra-cheap mini buses traversing the town and along the coast or to the Cheddi Jagan Airport as well as Linden.
Mini Buses operate in their allocated zones (identified by number marked on the vehicle) with a well regulated fare structure.
River Boats and Ferries
With the Opening of the Berbice Bridge between East and West Berbice travelling time is lessened for commuters from Georgetown to Berbice and onward travel to Suriname via the crossing at Moleson Creek.
Commuters to West Demerara travel by road from East Bank of Demerara and cross at the Demerara Harbour Bridge. The highway which begins on the West Coast of Demerara is heavily trafficked since it provides a link to Parika on the East Bank of the Essequibo River which have become an important centre of economic activity in the Essequibo Region. For example, speed boats or other types of marine transportation can be hired to take passengers as far as Bartica or other hinterland resorts and back in a single day.
Domestic Air Service
Air transportation is readily available for travelling to several parts of the hinterland, whether for business or for pleasure. Several local airlines depart from Ogle International Airport on the East Coast of Demerara and from Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri. Information on their availability and movement is easily obtainable from their office and tour operators. Private charters companies operate flights into the interior from upgraded Ogle International Airport.