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Transport Facilities in Goa


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Transport Facilities in Goa

Surrounded by beautiful beaches, swaying palms, sparkling waters, vibrant nightlife, friendly locals and dense forests, Goa is without doubt, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Therefore, like all other prevalent holiday spots, Goa also has an efficient transport system making traveling to and around Goa comfortable for the visitors. Buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws are easily available at any point of time. Moreover, Goa is also very well connected by air, road and rail to all the major cities in the country and some cities abroad as well.

How to Reach Goa

Airways in Goa

Dabolim Airport or Goa International Airport is the only airport in the entire state of Goa, located in the city of Dabolim. It also functions as a civil enclave in a military airbase called INS Hansa. The airport is located about 4 kilometers from the city of Vasco De Gama, 23 kilometers from the administrative headquarters of South Goa – Margao and 30 kilometers from the capital city of Goa – Panaji.

Airways in Goa

Economic Contribution

With an estimate of 1200 international flights per year, Goa accounts for almost 93% of India’s international charter flights. According to the statistics, around 300 to 350 thousand tourists arrive at Goa’s Dabolim Airport every year. Moreover, Goa alone accounts for about 10-12% of the country’s international tourists and about 10-15% of India’s foreign exchange receipts from the tourism sector.

The Domestic airport in Goa operates flights from all the major cities in the country. The international airport is still not fully operational as it only caters to charter international flights and some commercial flights from United Kingdom, Kuwait and Sharjah. In 2013-14, the number of tourists from UK estimated around 3,00,000 while those from Russia estimated about 49,000 by 280 charter flights. Visitors from UK and Russia are considered the highest two international tourist categories in India.

Airways in Goa

The air traffic control of Dabolim Airport comes under the management of the Indian Navy, who earns a good amount of revenue from this service. The Airport Authority’s of India (AAI) receives a fraction of the passenger service fee that is shared with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Other sources of revenue for the AAI mainly comes from non-traffic facilities such as passenger facilitation, entry tickets, car parking, stalls, shops, advertising boards and restaurants at the main terminal of the airport. The total amount of revenues comes around Rs. 900 million, making Dabolim Airport one of the few profitable airports of AAI.

All capital expenditures including expansion of the runway come under the control of the AAI. In April 2003, the runway of the airport was expanded from 6000 feet to 11,345 feet, making it possible to accommodate Boeing 747 as well. Currently, there is a shortage of night parking bays, which are only available at the major metro airports in the county. It is estimated that around 100 acres are required for civil enclave as compared to just 35 acres presently.

In 2006, the government announced to expand the airport, which included a new international terminal for the passengers and adding more aircraft stands. The construction was supposed to be completed by 2007, however, delays in transferring the land from the Indian Navy help up the dealings.

Airways in Goa

Expansion Project
Dabolim Airport was one of the 35 airports that came under the expansion project of the AAI. It included a new integrated terminal building in place of the old ones, a new multi-level car parking facility for around 540-570 cars and the construction of more aircraft stands. On 21st February 2009, the first foundation stone was laid and on May 2010, the construction of the new terminal began, which was inaugurated on 3rd December 2013.

With a new integrated design including aesthetic glass and huge steel structures, the new terminal can handle around 2800 passengers during peak hours. The new terminal will also be outfitted with 16 aerobridges, up-to-date sewage treatment plant and an in-line baggage screening system and can cater to 5 million passengers every year. The terminal also has 72 check-in counters, 18 immigration counters for arrivals and 22 for departures and 8 customs check counters. The basement is for utilities such as cargo handling and electricity while the first floor has all the check-in and security check counters; second floor consists of the security hold area and a waiting area for passengers. Once the new terminal is operational, all the old terminals will be closed for air operations.

Different flights operating from Goa
Jet Airways, Spice Jet and Air India are the most popular flights operating from Goa. Besides these, other flights that fly to and from Goa Airport include Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, Goa Air, Jet Lite and Indigo. Most of these flights operate to almost all the major cities in the country including Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmadabad, Chennai and Hyderabad and some of them even fly out to other countries including Kuwait, Sharjah, Doha and Dubai.

Roadways in Goa

The transport system in Goa is mostly maintained by the Kadamba Transport Corporation, which links Goa to all major routes such as the Panjim – Margao route and some remote areas of the state as well. The transport corporation in Goa owns 4 depots, 15 bus stands and one central workshop and also has a head office in Porvorim. In big cities like Panjim and Margao, mostly intra-city buses function. However, since the transport system in the state is still developing, the locals mostly depend on their own vehicles for transport, which mostly consists of small family cars and two-wheelers. Many private buses and taxis also form a major part of Goa’s public transport.

Transport in Goa

Goa is very well connected with National Highways 66, 366, 4A, 768 and 566. With a total of 224 kilometers of national highways, Goa also has 232 kilometers of state highways and 815 kilometers of district highways. NH 66 connects Goa to Mumbai from the North and Mangalore from the South. NH 4A links the capital city – Panjim to Belgaum from the east and other cities in the Deccan. NH 366 links NH 66 to Mormugao Port via Cortalim. The newly constructed four lane highway NH 566 connects Mormugao Port to NH 66 via Dabolim Airport. This was done mainly to reduce the traffic to the airport and Vasco De Gama town. Goa has some of most narrow national highways in the country, however there are no plans to expand them in the future.

Local Transportation in Goa

Travelling around the state is very comfortable and even if you are arriving in Goa for the first time, finding public transport over here is very easy. The extensive network of transport system connects the entire Goa with roads.

By Bus:

Getting Around Goa

Buses are the most easiest and the quickest way of getting around the state. Buses in Goa are mostly operated by the Kadamba Transport Corporation, who owns 4 bus depots, 15 bus stands and one central workshop in Porvorim. There are also many privately owned bus services that run across the state. The city buses over here mostly ply in Panaji and other neighboring areas and are a great help to the tourists to get around the state. Even though, they might be over-crowded and make non-scheduled stops, however traveling by a bus in Goa is still an exciting experience. They are one of the most efficient, quick, easy and cheap modes of transport in Goa.

By Car:
Hiring or renting a car is a great way to explore Goa at your own pace. A number of companies provide both chauffeured and non-chauffeured driven cars for rental. In case you are not interested in renting or hiring a car, then there are also many ubiquitous tourist taxis available at all popular hotels, resorts and famous tourist destinations in Goa. There are mostly two types of taxis available over here – one private white colored taxis that are easily available outside the Goa Airport, railway stations, hotels and at taxi stands near most popular tourist attractions. Moreover, most hotels can even arrange a taxi for you on request. These white taxis also have an interstate license and can even take you to nearby places outside Goa. The other type of taxi available in Goa is the regular yellow topped black taxis.

Getting Around Goa

All the taxis in the state charge rates on a per kilometer basis and with a little bargaining, you can get a rate, which is a little more reasonable. They can also be hired on a per day basis. However, when doing so, it is best to fix a rate before you sit in the taxi in order to avoid paying extra at the end of the day. The standard rate for hiring a taxi is Rs. 8 per kilometer and a 50% extra charge is put when travelling outside the municipal limits.

By Motorcycle
One of the easiest and the most economical ways of exploring Goa is by hiring a motorcycle taxi. Also, known as ‘pilot’, these taxis can only carry one rider at a time. The motorcycle taxis usually have yellow mudguards and number plates and can even take you outside Goa on short distances. They even have a separate taxi stand of their own. It is best to fix a rate with the pilot before you set out on a ride in order to avoid paying extra at the end of the trip. The standard rate for hiring a motorcycle taxi is Rs. 5 for the first kilometer and then Rs. 2.50 for every additional kilometer.

Getting Around Goa

Motorcycle taxis are the most unique and popular way of traveling in Goa. Other forms of transport in Goa include hiring motorbikes, scooters and bicycles. They are also very economical and are easily available around the beaches of Goa. Hiring a bike from a good shop would cost around Rs. 200 – Rs. 400 per day. Usually a form of security or a deposit like your passport would be required for hiring a motorbike.

By Auto Rickshaws:

Getting Around Goa

Auto Rickshaws are the most convenient forms of commuting and travelling within Goa, as they are widely available in each part of the state. These three wheelers are recognized by their yellow and black color with passenger seating towards the back of the Auto Rickshaw. They usually carry a maximum of three passengers per ride and are quite fast in navigating their way through the crowded streets of Goa. Moreover, they are also inexpensive as compared to taxis and charge on a per kilometer bases. However, some Auto Rickshaws in Goa do not adhere to the meter system, therefore, it is best to fix a rate before setting out on your trip. The standard rate is Rs. 7 per kilometers and a 25% extra charge is put when travelling between 11 pm and 5 am.

Railways in Goa

Goa has primarily two railway stations in the state, namely South Central Railway Terminus and Konkan Railway Terminus. Both of them are located in South Goa, at Vasco Da Gama and Margao town respectively. Apart from these, the trains also stop at some smaller railway stations in Goa. Canacona Railway Station, Pernem Railway Station, Thivim Railway Station, Karmali Railway Station, Sanverdam Church Railway Station and Kulem Railway Station are some of the smaller railway stations in the state.

The South Central Railway Station at Vasco De Gama town has only one train called the Nizamuddin-Goa Express, which comes in every morning and departs from Delhi to Goa via Pune. 

Railways in Goa

Goa is very well connected by trains and railways. There was a time when a train journey to Mumbai would take around 24 hours through the zigzag route of Miraj and Pune, which even involved changing trains. But with the introduction of high-speed Konkan Railways, the same journey only takes about 8 to 9 hours. There are other slower trains also from Panaji that take around 10 to 12 hours to reach Mumbai.

Goa even has some trains that go beyond Mumbai to some of the northern most regions like Delhi as well. Similarly, there are trains that go towards the Southern direction till Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala also.

The Konkan Railway Station also has a special facility via the Internet for foreign travelers where they can book their tickets online using a credit card. Moreover, there are many automated reservation systems in most metros. Since the demand for railway journeys is quite high, especially during the peak season (November to January), it is best to book the tickets as early as possible in order to avoid delays.

Railways in Goa

The Konkan Railway connects Goa to Mumbai, Mangalore and other major cities located on the Konkan Coast of India. Constructed and maintained by the Konkan Railway Corporation, it runs a total distance of 741 kilometers along the Western Coast of the country, from Roha in the state of Maharashtra till Thokur in the state of Karnataka. The latest updates and schedules are easily available on the official Konkan Railway site (www.konkanrailway.com). It is without doubt one of the fastest and the cheapest train route to Mumbai from Goa. 

Here are some major trains from Goa:

Trains from Goa to Ernakulam
Ernakulam Poorna Express - Saturday
Marusagar Express – Friday
Okha Ernakulum Express  - Monday and Saturday

Trains from Goa to Howrah
VSG Howrah Express – Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Departs from – Vasco De Gama

Trains from Goa to Jaipur
Marusagar Express – Sunday
Departs from – Margao and Thivim

Trains from Goa to Jodhpur
Trivandrum Jodhpur Express – Margao
Departs from – Saturday

Trains from Goa to Mangalore
Janashatabdi Express – Daily
Departs from – Margao
Matsyaganda Express - Daily
Departs from – Margao

Trains from Goa to Mumbai
Netravati Express – Daily
Departs from – Margao, Karmali and Thivim
Mandovi Express – Daily
Departs from – Margao, Karmali and Thivim
Matsyagandha Express – Daily
Departs from – Margao
Janashatabdi Express – Daily except Wednesday
Departs from – Margao and Thivim
Konkan Kanya Express – Daily
Departs from – Margao, Karmali and Thivim

Trains from Goa to Delhi
Ernakulam Nizamuddin Mangala Express – Daily
Departs from – Margao and Thivim
Sampark Kranti Express – Saturday
Departs from – Margao
Rajdhani Express – Tuesday and Thursday
Departs from – Margao
Goa Sampark Kranti Expres – Tuesday
Departs from – Margao, Karmali and Thivim

Trains from Goa to Pune
Poona Express – Monday
Departs from – Margao

Trains from Goa to Trivandrum
Trivandrum Veraval Express – Thursday
Departs from – Margao
Netravati Express – Daily
Departs from – Margao
Rajdhani Express – Tuesday and Sunday
Departs from – Margao
Nagercoil Gandhidham Express – Friday
Departs from – Margao
Bikaner Trivandrum Express – Tuesday
Departs from – Margao
Veraval Trivandrum Express – Thursday
Departs from – Margao

Railways in Goa

Since the services and prices of the tickets keep changing seasonally, it is best to book the tickets as soon as possible. Train booking can be made online or at Margao’s Madgaon Station, Panaji’s Kadamba Bus Stand or at any travel agent in the state (they probably charge a small fee to book the tickets).

Other small railway stations in Goa include Thivim for Mapusa, Pernem for Arambol, Canacona for Palolem and Old Goa for Panaji.

Goa by Sea

The major seaport in Goa is located near the small town of Vasco De Gama at Mormugao Harbor. This port mostly handles the mineral ore, coal, petroleum and international containers. Most of the shipments contain minerals and ores that comes from Goa’s surrounding areas. Another small seaport in Goa is located in Panjim, on the banks of River Mandovi that mostly handled passenger boats between Mumbai and Goa during the late 1980’s. Earlier during the 1990’s, there was also a Catamaran service operated by Damania Shipping Company connecting Panaji and Mumbai.

By Ferry

Getting Around Goa

Another popular and a fun mode of transport in Goa are ferryboats. There are many places in Goa, especially in the rural areas, which one has to cross a small river to get to the mainland. In some areas, many bridges have been constructed to ease the traffic all over the state; however, there are still some localities in Goa where bridges are yet to be constructed. In such cases, ferries are the only way to get to the other side of Goa. Some popular river crossings in Goa include Divar Island to Narve, Old Goa to Divar Island, Cavelossim to Assolna and Querim to Tiracol. There is also a ferry that sails from Panaji to Betim, across the River Mandovi, despite the fact that there are two excellent bridges built across the river. Ferries are very popular among tourists and even locals, as they feel it is still the most fun way of traveling within Goa.

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