Port of Spain explained

Official Name:City of Port of Spain
Subdivision Type:Country
Subdivision Name:Trinidad and Tobago
Leader Title:Mayor
Leader Name:Murchison Brown
Leader Title1:Governing body
Leader Name1:Port of Spain City Corporation
Unit Pref:Imperial
Population As Of:2000
Population Note:Ranked 3rd
Population Total:49031
Population Density Km2:3650
Timezone:AST
Utc Offset:-4
Latd:10
Latm:40
Latns:N
Longd:61
Longm:31
Longew:W
Coordinates Display:d
Footnotes:HDI (2000) 0.880 – high

Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's third largest municipality, after San Fernando and Chaguanas. The city has a municipal population of 49,031 (2000 census)[1] and a metropolitan population of 128,026 (1990 estimate)[2] residents. It is located on the Gulf of Paria, on the northwest coast of the island of Trinidad.

The city serves primarily as a retail and administrative center. It also serves as a financial services center and is home to two of the largest banks in the Caribbean. It is one of the major shipping hubs of the Caribbean, with exports of agricultural products and asphalt. Bauxite from the Guianas and iron ore from Venezuela are trans-shipped via facilities at Chaguaramus, about five miles (8 km) west of the city. Despite its small population, Port of Spain is Trinidad & Tobago's most developed city.

History

Port of Spain was founded near the site of the Amerindian fishing village of Cumucurapo ("place of the silk cotton trees"), located in the area today known as Mucurapo, west of the city centre. The name Conquerabia is also recorded for an Amerindian settlement in this area; this may have been a separate village, another name for Cumucurapo, or the result of miscomprehension by early Spanish settlers, who established a port here: "Puerto de los Hispanioles", later "Puerto de España". In 1560, a Spanish garrison was posted near the foot of the Laventille Hills, which today form the city's eastern boundary.

The part of today's downtown Port of Spain closest to the sea was once an area of tidal mudflats covered by mangroves. The first Spanish buildings here, in the 16th and 17th centuries, were open mud-plastered ajoupas, interspersed between large silk cotton trees and other trees. The fort was a mud-walled enclosure with a shack inside, a flagpole, two or three cannon, and few Spanish soldiers. The Caribs were transient, travelling to the mainland (now Venezuela) and up the Orinoco River. The French naval commander Comte D'Estrées visited in 1680, and reported that there was no Port of Spain. But in 1690, Spanish governor Don Sebastien de Roteta reported in writing to the King of Spain: "Already six houses have been made and others have been started. There is already a church in this place, so that it was unnecessary to build a new."

In 1699, the alcalde of Trinidad reported to the King that the natives "were in the habit of showering scorn and abuse upon the Holy Faith and ridiculed with jests the efforts of the Holy Fathers".

By 1757, the old capital, San José de Oruña (modern Saint Joseph), about seven miles (11 km) inland, had fallen into disrepair, and Governor Don Pedro de la Moneda transferred his seat to Port of Spain, which thus became Trinidad's de facto capital. The last Spanish Governor of Trinidad, Don José Maria Chacón, devoted much of his time to developing the new capital. He compelled the island's Cabildo (governing council) to move to Port of Spain, and he limited its powers to the municipality. The 1783 Cedula of Population, which encouraged the settlement of French Catholics in the island, led to a rapid increase in the town's population and its geographical extension westwards.

From the small cluster of buildings at the foot of the Laventille Hills, eleven streets were laid out west to the area bounded by the St. Ann's River, thus establishing the grid pattern which has survived in downtown Port of Spain to the present day. Along the sea shore was the Plaza del Marina (Marine Square), a parade ground. By 1786, the town had a population of about 3,000.

Realising that the St. Ann's River, prone to flooding, was impeding the expansion of the town, Chacón had its course diverted in 1787 so that it ran to the east of the city, along the foot of the Laventille Hills. (During the rainy season the river still had a tendency to overflow its banks, flooding parts of the city; over the decades its channel would be widened and paved. During the dry season the water level drops to a trickle; hence its nickname, the East Dry River.) Port of Spain was now able to continue spreading northwards and westwards, encroaching on the surrounding sugar-cane plantations.

In 1797, Trinidad was invaded by a British force under General Sir Ralph Abercromby. The British landed west of Port of Spain, at what is still called Invaders Bay, and marched towards the town. Realising his military resources were inadequate to defend the colony and wishing to avoid unnecessary destruction, Governor Chacón capitulated and was able to negotiate generous terms with Abercromby. Port of Spain remained the capital; the new British colonial government renamed most of the streets after British royalty or military figures, but allowed Chacón Street (which followed the old course of the St. Ann's River) to retain its name, in tribute to the former governor.

In 1803 Port of Spain began growing southwards, with the reclamation of the foreshore mudflats, using fill from the Laventille Hills. This began with the area immediately east of the diverted St. Ann's River; the district is still called Sea Lots today. Gradually the landfill crept west and the area south of Plaza del Marina became solid land. Further major reclamation efforts took place in the 1840s, the 1870s, and in 1906. In 1935 the Deep Water Harbour Scheme dredged the offshore area along Port of Spain's western neighbourhoods, and the dredged material was used to fill in the area south of Woodbrook. Wrightson Road, linking downtown Port of Spain to its western suburbs, was constructed at the same time. These reclaimed lands were originally called Docksite, and were home to US forces during World War II; later a number of government buildings were constructed here.

Port of Spain continued to grow in size and importance during the 19th and early 20th centuries, peaking in size in the 1960s at about 100,000 people. Since then the population within the city limits has declined in size as the downtown area has become increasingly commercial and the suburbs in the valleys north, west, and north-east of the city have grown. Today Port of Spain is the western hub of a metropolitan area stretching from Carenage, five miles (8 km) west of the city, to Arima, fifteen miles (24 km) east; this East-West Corridor runs along the southern edge of Trinidad's Northern Range.

From 1958 to 1962, Port of Spain was the temporary capital of the short-lived West Indies Federation, though there were plans to build a new federal capital at Chaguaramas, on land occupied by the US military base established during World War II. Federation Park, a residential neighbourhood in western Port of Spain intended to house employees of the federal government, is a memorial to that time.

Geography

Port of Spain is located in the northwest of the island of Trinidad, between the Gulf of Paria, the hills of the Northern Range and the Caroni Swamp. Some of the city lies on reclaimed land, while other parts climb into the hills above the city.

Climate

Port of Spain has a seasonal tropical climate. Its wet season lasts from June to December, and its dry season lasts from January to May.

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg high °C (°F)31 (87.8)31 (87.8)32 (89.6)32 (89.6)32 (89.6)32 (89.6)31 (87.8)31 (87.8)32 (89.6)32 (89.6)32 (89.6)31 (87.8)
Avg low temperature °C (°F)21 (69.8)20 (68.0)20 (68.0)21 (69.8)22 (71.6)22 (71.6)22 (71.6)22 (71.6)22 (71.6)22 (71.6)22 (71.6)21 (69.8)
Source: BBC Weather

Record Temps for Port of Spain (St. Clair):Record High: 38 °C (100.4 °F)Record Low: 11 °C (51.8 °F)

Urban structure

Port of Spain's official population is relatively small, and reflects the narrow city boundaries including the central busienss district and a number of economically depressed adjoining suburbs. In addition to the official population, the adjacent East-West corridor conurbation has a population close to 600,000 people[3] and the "big city" feel with its suburban car dominated commuting. The corridor is the built-up area of north Trinidad stretching from the capital, Port of Spain, 15miles east to Arima. It includes the towns of Barataria, San Juan, St. Joseph, Curepe, St. Augustine, Tunapuna, Tacarigua, Arouca, and Five Rivers, once distinct communities and now districts within a continuous urban area. For the most part it runs along the Eastern Main Road, between the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway and the foothills of the Northern Range.[4]

Downtown

The oldest part of the city is the downtown area (colloquially referred to as "Town", and pronounced by Trinis similar to the word "tong"), between South Quay (to the south), Oxford Street (to the north), the St. Ann's River (to the east), and Richmond Street (to the west).

The heart of downtown is Woodford Square (formerly Brunswick Square, renamed in the 19th century for British Governor Ralph Woodford). On its northern side are City Hall and the Hall of Justice, seat of the Supreme Court; on its western side is the Red House, seat of Parliament; the Anglican Holy Trinity Cathedral is on its south side, and on the block south-west of the square is the National Library. A number of government offices are located in the immediate vicinity, and the blocks north and west of the Red House are home to many lawyers' chambers.

Woodford Square itself is a green oasis in the heart of the city, with a late-Victorian fountain and bandstand, trees, benches, and lawns. It has famously been the site of many political rallies over the decades; former Prime Minister Eric Williams gave many public lectures here, dubbing it "the University of Woodford Square", and near the eastern gate is a spot which has become Port of Spain's Speakers' Corner.

Two blocks south of Woodford Square is Independence Square (formerly Marine Square), which runs along the breadth of downtown Port of Spain from Wrightson Road to the west to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the east. The section of the square immediately behind the cathedral is called Columbus Square. Before extensive land reclamation in the early 19th century, the city's shoreline ran through Independence Square.

In the early 1990s, illegal vendors who had set up shop in the middle of the square were evicted and major repaving and landscaping was undertaken. The new pedestrian area in the middle of the square was named the Brian Lara Promenade in honour of Trinidad and Tobago's star cricket batsman. Where Independence Square is bisected by Frederick Street there is a roundabout with a statue of Captain A.A. Cipriani, the early 20th-century populist politician and mayor of the city. South of the square, Frederick Street widens and becomes Broadway, which terminates at the waterfront and the Port of Spain lighthouse, no longer used as a navigational aid but considered a major landmark. (For Trinidadians born and bred in Port of Spain or its northern and north-western suburbs, "past the lighthouse"—east of the lighthouse on the Beetham Highway—means outside the city proper.)

The southern side of Independence Square is where the city's (and the south Caribbean's) tallest buildings are located: the twin towers of the Eric Williams Financial Complex (home of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance) and the new Nicholas Tower, a commercial office building. Recently completed was the Government Campus Plaza and International Waterfront Centre Towers, standing as the tallest buildings in Trinidad and Tobago and 7th tallest in the caribbean. Meanwhile, the Rennasance Towers, One WoodBrook place, and the BroadGate Building are under construction. When completed, the BroadGate building is expected to be the tallest building in the country as well as the English-speaking Caribbean.

Frederick Street, which runs north through the city to the Queen's Park Savannah, is Port of Spain's major avenue, connecting the two downtown squares with the uptown park, and very approximately dividing downtown into retail (east) and office (west) districts. One block east, lower Henry Street is the location of a number of shops selling cloth, mostly owned by members of Trinidad's Syrian-Lebanese community. Another block over, Charlotte Street at its lower end is Port of Spain's Chinatown in all but name, home to dozens of general emporia known for bargain shopping.

Laventille

East of the St. Ann's River, more commonly known as the East Dry River, are the working-class neighbourhoods of Laventille; this area is sometimes referred to as "Behind the Bridge". The area is known to be one of the most violent in the country for gangs, drugs, and murders, but is also the birthplace of the steelpan and, some would argue, the spiritual capital of calypso;calypso, steelpan, and carnival are the life source of most Trinidadians. South of Laventille are Beetham Estate and Sea Lots, two other economically depressed neighbourhoods.

Belmont

In north-east Port of Spain, Belmont, at the foot of the Laventille Hills, was the city's first suburb. In the 1840–50s, parts of the area were settled by Africans rescued by the Royal Navy from illegal slaving ships. In the 1880–90s, the population swelled rapidly, and the characteristic Belmont street pattern of narrow, winding lanes developed. The black professional class built large homes in Belmont, as they were excluded from the more expensive neighbourhoods such as St. Clair and Maraval; Belmont became known as "the Black St. Clair". Many of these large homes have been renovated and converted to business use, but some remain in family hands. Belmont currently is a lower-middle to middle-class residential neighbourhood. It was the birthplace and early home of many important Carnival designers and bandleaders.

North of downtown

North of downtown, the area occupied in the earlier 19th century by the Tranquillity sugar estate was formerly residential, but in recent decades has become essentially a district of office buildings, functioning as an extension of the downtown area. Oddly, this part of Port of Spain—between Oxford Street and the Queen's Park Savannah—has no name in common usage, though a century ago it was known as Tranquillity. The Port of Spain General Hospital is on upper Charlotte Street, also Memorial Park, while nearby on Frederick Street is the National Museum and Art Gallery. West of here is Newtown, laid out in the 1840s, bounded by Tragarete Road (south), the Queen's Park Savannah (north), Cipriani Boulevard (east), and Maraval Road (west).

Woodbrook

The large Woodbrook neighbourhood, west of downtown, formerly a sugar estate owned by the Siegert family, was sold to the Town Board in 1911 and developed into a residential neighbourhood, with many of the north-south streets named for the Siegert siblings. In the last twenty years the main east-west thoroughfares, Ariapita Avenue and Tragarete Road, have become almost entirely commercialised, and Ariapita Avenue west of Murray Street has become a relatively upscale dining and entertainment "strip". A few small parks are sprinkled through the neighbourhood; Adam Smith Square and Siegert Square are the two largest.

Just north of Woodbrook along Tragarete Road is the Queen's Park Oval, a major Test cricket ground, which is owned by the private Queen's Park Cricket Club (QPCC). At Woodbrook's western end, at the edge of Invaders Bay, is the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the national venue for football and track and field events.

St. Clair

The upscale St. Clair neighbourhood in north-west Port of Spain, between the Queen's Park Savannah and the Maraval River, was developed in the 1880s, 1890s, and 1900s on former agricultural land. It is the location of some of the city's grandest mansions. At its heart, just north of the Queen's Park Oval, is King George V Park. In recent decades St. Clair has become home to various diplomatic missions.

Just northwest of St. Clair are two upscale residential neighbourhoods, Ellerslie Park and Federation Park.Duncie Park is located 200 metres west of St Clair.

St. James and Mucurapo

Port of Spain's last major municipal expansion occurred in 1938, when the St. James district north of Woodbrook and west of St. Clair was incorporated into the city limits. In the late 19th century, Indian indentured labourers on nearby sugar estates established houses here, and St. James gradually became the centre of Port of Spain's Indian population, with many streets named after cities and districts in India. Western Main Road, the area's major thoroughfare, has long been the city's main nightlife district, sometimes nicknamed "the city that never sleeps".

Long Circular Road, which curves north from Western Main Road then west to meet Maraval Road, forms part of the city boundary. Its "circle" encloses Flagstaff Hill, a small rise with the US ambassador's residence at its summit, which lends its name to an area of apartment buildings at its southern foot.

South of St. James and near the seashore at Invaders Bay is Mucurapo, a mostly residential district which also contains the city's second-largest cemetery.

It should be noted that V.S. Naipaul, Trinidadian Nobel Prize winner for literature, grew up in St. James.

Queen's Park Savannah

Port of Spain's largest open space—and one of the world's largest traffic roundabouts—is the Queen's Park Savannah, known colloquially simply as "the Savannah". It occupies about 260acres [5] of level land, and the distance around the perimeter is about 2.2 miles (3.5 km). Once sugar land, it was bought by the town council in 1817 from the Peschier family (except for a small parcel near its centre that served as the Peschier cemetery, which remains in private hands).

At first it was used as a vast cattle pasture in what was then the town's suburbs, but by the middle of the 19th century it had become established as a park. Until the early 1990s, horse racing was held frequently at the Savannah race track, and it also contains several cricket, football and rugby pitches. Apart from a ring of trees round its perimeter, the Savannah was never really landscaped, except for the small area in its northwest corner called the Hollows, a former reservoir now drained and planted with flowering shrubs.

Immediately north of the Savannah—also the northern limit of the city of Port of Spain—are the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Emperor Valley Zoo, the official residences of the president and the prime minister, and Queen's Hall, the city's major performing arts venue. Lady Chancellor Road, which ascends the hills overlooking the Savannah, is one of Port of Spain's most exclusive residential areas.

On the Savannah's southern side is the Grand Stand, formerly used for viewing horse races, now used for various cultural events, most notably Carnival, when a temporary North Stand and raised stage are constructed in front of the Grand Stand, creating the "Big Yard", Carnival's central location since the early 20th century (previously, the main viewing area for Carnival was in downtown Port of Spain). From this location the Parade of Bands is broadcast live to the nation on Carnival Monday and Tuesday; it is also the venue for the Calypso Monarch and Carnival King and Queen Competitions and the finals of the Panorama steelpan competition.

The western edge of the Savannah, along Maraval Road, is the location of the Magnificent Seven, a group of late Victorian buildings built in an eccentric and flamboyant variety of styles. These are Queen's Royal College; the residences of the Anglican bishop and the Roman Catholic archbishop; Whitehall, once a private residence, now the office of the prime minister; Mille Fleurs, once a private residence, now undergoing full restoration in 2007 as a public museum and headquarters for the National Heritage Trust; Roomor, an ornate black-and-white chateau-like building that remains a private residence; and Stollmeyer's Castle, a turreted house supposedly modelled on Balmoral Castle which is now undergoing restoration as a future ambassadorial residence.

Suburbs

Immediately north and northwest of Port of Spain, the suburbs of Cascade, St. Ann's, Maraval, and Diego Martin fall outside the municipal boundary, but are sometimes considered extensions of the city. St. Ann's is notable for being the location of the Prime Minister's official residence and diplomatic centre. Maraval is home to the exclusive Trinidad Country Club and right next door to the popular Long Circular Mall. Further afield in Diego Martin lies the suburb of Westmoorings, which is known for its expensive Miami style highrise apartments facing the seafront. One of Trinidad's poshest shopping centres, The Falls, lies at the centre of these developments. As you head west beyond Carenage settlement is sparse, however the peninsula know as Chaguaramas, which was once a large US Army Base, has become a mecca for hundreds of international cruisers and a world major yacht storage and repair hub.[6]

To the east along the east-west corridor, lie the large towns of San Juan, Tunapuna and Arima. With congestion rendering downtown inaccessible during peak hours, major shopping centres like Valsayn Shopping Centre, Grand Bazaar and Trincity Mall have sprung up at highway intersections. The last two are noted for being among the largest shopping centres in the Caribbean, with 600000square feet of commercial space in each. Developers are now hoping to expand Trincity Mall to one million square feet (22 acres) by 2008.[7] Two large Universities have been established at Tunapuna - The regional University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and The multi campus local University of Trinidad and Tobago on the Arima outskirts.

Housing

Housing in Port of Spain ranges from luxurious waterfront apartments to hillside shacks lacking water and vehicular access. Continued pressure for expansion of commercial development in Woodbrook and uptown POS (Port of Spain proper) has led to a rapid rate of decline in the city's population over the past 4 decades.[8] The almost complete (2007) scheme at Damien street Woodbrook will provide 350 apartments and the proposed Waterfront Development will deliver 1500. Both of these projects are very high cost and unaffordable to most of the population.

To address the problem, East Port of Spain Development Company was formed in 2005 with a mandate to develop and redevelop a zone in east Port-of-Spain to improve the economic, social and physical environment of those areas. Large parts of Port of Spain's Eastern entrance are currently being cleared of old warehouses and substandard housing.[9]

Governance

Port of Spain is administered by the Port of Spain City Corporation. There are 12 councillors and 4 aldermen. The mayor is elected from the membership of the council.

Mayors

Murchison Brown is the current mayor of Port of Spain.

The electoral districts are:

Port of Spain became a "city" in 1914; the ordinance was passed on May 29 and was proclaimed by the Governor on June 25, 1914. The first city councillors were elected on November 2. Among them were oil pioneer Randolph Rust, lawyer and social activist Emmanuel Mzumbo Lazare and Dr. Enrique Prada, who was elected chairman by the council and became the first mayor of the City of Port of Spain.

Economy

Port of Spain serves as a shopping and business centre for much of the country. It is also a major financial centre. Two of the largest banks in the Caribbean, Republic Bank, Trinidad and Tobago Limited and RBTT (formerly the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago) are headquartered here.

The Port of Port of Spain is the major port of containerized shipping. The port of Port of Spain is able to dock large cruise ships. Most government offices are also located in the city. The Government Campus Plaza (under construction), Red House, Eric Williams Plaza, and many other government buildings are located in the city.

Trinidad's economy is based on natural gas and oil. No heavy industrial sites are located in Port of Spain, but a major oil refinery and many petrochemical, iron and steel and aluminium plants exist or are planned for sites south of the city.[10] High-income proceeds from the international sale of natural gas has aided the country in the Port of Spain International Waterfront project. Agriculture is also a part of Trinidad's economy, but most farming is done outside of Port of Spain. Trinidad and Tobago usually exports more than it imports, but recently, imports have risen due to the need to import heavy construction machinery. Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean. Port of Spain is known as the "industrial hub" of the Caribbean, and is the most developed city in the country.

Education

Education is compulsory up to the age of 16. Primary school and secondary school enrollment is almost universal. Port of Spain school leavers, as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago do not pay tuition to study at local public and private tertiary institutions except for graduate studies where they pay a heavily subsidised fee. Prominent schools in Port of Spain include St. Mary's College, Queen's Royal College, St. Joseph's Convent POS, Bishop's Anstey High School, Fatima College, Holy Name Convent Girls and St Francois Girls College

Demographics

The population of Port of Spain was 54,100 in 1901, 92,793 in 1946 (following the annexation of St, James in 1938), 93,954 in 1960, 73,950 in 1970, 59,200 in 1988 and 49,031 in 2000.

Culture and entertainment

While the major shopping area around Frederick Street has declined in competition with malls and the growth of outlying towns, 'uptown' Port of Spain (St. Clair and Woodbrook) have seen a boom as large corporations build high-rise headquarters in formerly upscale neighbourhoods.

Sports

Port of Spain hosts major sporting venues including the Queen's Park Oval, Hasely Crawford Stadium, the Jean Pierre Complex and various sporting fields on the Queen's Park Savannah. Port of Spain was among the host cities of the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

Entertainment & Nightlife

Port of Spain offers a range of nightclubs and entertainment complexes and is home to one of the oldest and largest Carnivals in the world. International and regional performers such as,T Pain, Chris Brown, Keyshia Cole, Fat Joe, Lil Jon, Dem Franchise Boys, Sean Kingston, Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias, Collie Budzz, Damien Marley, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Kansas, Outfield, Cascada, Ian Van Dahl, Akon, Usher, Kumar Sanu, Sonu Nigam, Shaka Demus, John Legend and Engelbert Humperdinck regularly visit Trinidad.

Many restaurants and nightclubs can be found on Ariapita Avenue, a popular entertainment strip. Port of Spain's restaurants provide a wide range of local and international cuisines, accompanied by the traditional fast food chains.

Port of Spain is also a cultural hub for the country. Regular dance and theatre productions occur at The Little Carib, Queen's Hall, The Central Bank Auditorium and other venues. Two major new venues under construction are the National Academy for the Performing Arts and the National Carnival and Entertainment Centre.

Crime

Port of Spain and its immediate environs have a higher crime rate than any other part of Trinidad. Homicides countrywide rose from less than 50 in the 1980s, to 97 in 1998, then to 360 in 2006 (30 murders per 100,000 persons). Many murders are drug and gang related, especially in the depressed communities of East POS. The police administration has responded by improving the working conditions of officers, increasing the use of forensic evidence and surveillance technology as well as hiring overseas experts and incorporating dozens of Scotland Yard detectives into the local police force. Kidnappings for ransom which were on the rise a few years ago have decreased in the past two years. Theft and violent crimes remain prevalent to this date.

Infrastructure

Health

Like the rest of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain is served by a combination of public/private health services. The major public hospital is the Port of Spain General Hospital. Port of Spain General Hospital is one of the major trauma centers in the Southern Caribbean. Demand for speedy quality health service has led to the establishment of several private hospitals.

Transport

Transportation in and out of Port of Spain is plagued by heavy traffic delays at rush hour. Traffic enters the city from the east along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway which ends at Barataria, just east of the city and becomes the Beetham Highway. Alternately, traffic can turn north at Barataria and enter the city to the north over the Lady Young Road. The Eastern Main Road runs parallel to the highway and enters the city at the eastern end of Independence Square. The Priority Bus Route (which runs along the former Trinidad Government Railway line) enters the city at City Gate. Traffic from the west enters the city through the Western Main Road and the Audrey Jeffers Highway.

To ease the current traffic woes that result in two to three hour commutes during rush hours, a number of projects are in various stages of implementation. The upgrading of the Churchill-Roosevelt highway to a grade separated expressway[11] reintroduction of rail transport via the Trinidad rapid rail project[12],and the extension of water ferry services from Port of Spain to the major urban hubs along the west coast are particularly notable.[13]

City Gate serves as a transportation hub for public buses and private mini-buses (locally known as maxi-taxis). City Gate is located on South Quay just south of Independence Square. A ferry service links Port of Spain with Scarborough, Tobago. Like the rest of the island of Trinidad, Port of Spain is served by the Piarco International Airport located in Piarco.

Trinidad is currently exploring the addition of rapid transit by either streetcar or monorail.

Utilities

Electric generation is handled by Powergen, while electrical distribution is handled by the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC). Powergen has one natural gas-fired generation plant located on Wrightson Road in Port of Spain. Additional power can be supplied from power generation facilities located in Point Lisas and Penal.

Telecommunications are regulated by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT). It has been working to de-monopolise the industry, granting several new licenses in 2005. Fixed-line telephone service is a monopoly controlled by Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). Licenses have been granted for competition in this area, but start-up is a while away. Wireless telephony is currently controlled by TSTT, but licenses have been granted for two private companies, Digicel and Laqtel to offer wireless service in competition with TSTT.

Water and sewerage are under the purview of the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WASA). Most solid waste is disposed of in the Beetham Landfill, commonly known as La Basse.

Sister cities

Port of Spain is a twinned or is a sister city with some of the following cities:

References

  1. http://www.cso.gov.tt/statistics/cssp/census2000/Total_Population_by_Sex_%20Sex_Ratio_and_Area_2000.pdf#search=%22population%20port%20of%20spain%20couva%20sangre%20grande%20san%20fernando%20site%3Acso.gov.tt%22 Table 1
  2. Halcrow Group (Trinidad & Tobago) Ltd.. Greater Port of Spain Local Area Plan. December 2000. 2007-05-14.
  3. http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Americas/Trinidad-and-Tobago.html Trinidad and Tobago - Country overview, Location and size, Population, Industry, Oil and gas, Manufacturing, Services, Tourism
  4. http://www.carnaval.com/trinidad/north/ Northern Range of Trinidad Travel Guide
  5. Agostini, Keifel A. Queens Park Savannah: Save Our Savannah. Sunday Express, September 21, 1997.
  6. Chaguaramas Development Authority websitehttp://www.chagdev.com/
  7. Trinidad Guardian "Trincity to expland by 13 acres"http://www.guardian.co.tt/archives/2006-03-12/bussguardian5.html
  8. Halcrow Group Greater POS reporthttp://www.nalis.gov.tt/plan2_soceconbg3.htm
  9. The Trinidad Guardian "Redevelopinig Eastern Port of Spain"http://www.guardian.co.tt/archives/2006-03-12/bussguardian5.html
  10. US State Department Background Notes - Trinidad and Tobago(11/07)http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35638.htm
  11. NIDCO website "Churchill Roosevelt/Uriah Butler Interchange"http://www.nidco.co.tt/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=49&Itemid=56
  12. NIDCO website "Trinidad Rapid Rail System"http://www.nidco.co.tt/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=30
  13. NIDCO website "Water Taxi Service"http://www.nidco.co.tt/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=38&Itemid=34

External links