By Bus, Mexico City
Local bus: fare depends on distance traveled, minimum 3 pesos, about 0.30 dollars, for the first 5 kms.
Volkswagen Combis (referred to as Combis) are very used as colective units with an established route. They usually connect with metro stations and bus stops. Fare depends on distance traveled.
For those who are concern about safety getting around the city, the Turibus is a safe option.
Note: 2 or 3 days pass must be used on consecutive days.
- very safe way to travel around as there is a security guard on board
- staff speak good English, very friendly and helpful
- buses are new and clean, just as they look on the web site
- waiting area (usually marked by their red banner on a light post) is generally safe and there are others waiting
- route visits most of the major sites with pre-recorded audio guide, good overview for first time visitors
- buses are not crowded as they strictly control the number of passangers on board
- buses come around every 15-30 minutes as advertised BUT you may not be able to get on at times (see next section)
- during peak hours (1pm - 5pm) at popular stops like Zocalo or Auditorio, the waiting line can be long. This is because they count the number of people that got off and let on the same amount. So in the afternoons, most people are leaving the sites as opposed to arriving so the line can queue up to 40+ people. This means waiting 2 or 3 buses (if only a few people get off each bus) which can be more than an hour. Twice, we walked to the stop before Zocalo in order to get on the bus.
- route is fixed so no flexibility to avoid traffic
- service stops at 9pm at whatever stop the bus is at, so time your destination correctly as you may not be able to make it due to traffic; ask the staff
We had 5 full days in Mexico City, plenty of time, so this was a leisure option for us. We were travelling with 2 children so safety was our priority.
Hope this helps.
(Red de Transporte de Pasajeros).
In Mexico City -August 18th, 1981- was created a transport organization denominated R-100.
On May 6th, 1989, after a strike, the R-100 was occupied by the Federal District government.
From April 5th, 1995 to September 26th, 1997 the R-100 was declarated in bankruptcy, thanks to corruption from our civil servants.
Finally, on January 31th, 2000 the R-100 was declarated extinct.
The city inhabitants were seriously affected, and at the same time was created the RTP and start operations at the beginning of March, 2000 with only 200 new buses (and near 1,000 old buses) but signing immediatly ($38 millions USD) to buy other 300 buses.
Today RTP has about 500 'modern' buses -made in Germany- and some old buses too ready to serve of inhabitants from 135 suburbs and other poor neighbourhoods.
RTP offers special night routes from 23:00 to 06:00 hrs. Also, there are some buses equiped to help handicapped persons.
To sume up, new RTP buses transport 750,000 passengers a day, on 1,400 buses that covers 100 routes (more than 3,000 Km.) and 2,500 stops along the way from 04:00 to 23:00 hrs. with a $2 MXP ($0.20 USD) fare.
Also, RTP buses help to reach subway stations and cut down the air pollution levels and traffic...
It looks working well and we hope it continues in the same way for a long time!
City transport system needs an inprovement, RTP is just the beginning.
When you come to downtown, go for a ride on "Tranvía Turístico". It´s not a real streetcar, it's a bus that looks like an old tram from the beginning of 20th Century.
This tourist transport offers a 45 minutes travel within Centro Histórico (Historic Downtown) -since October,1993- to know curious facts and ---leyendas---, oldest buildings, streets and places to understand the ancient lifestyle of the city inhabitants.
Open everyday all round year from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Adults fare is about $4 USD, childs fare is $2 USD. Not expensive and has only 20 seats.
You can choose for different tours according to your interest (different fares) and time (up to 2 hours). There are a night tour. The special tours include visits to Templo Mayor (main Temple), Palacio Nacional (national Palace), Catedral Metropolitana (metropolitan Cathedral) or small museums.
This transport also offers tourist guides in English and French languages only for special groups (at least 20 persons).
Just cultural destinations.
Buses from USA/Canada or South/Central America to Mexico City, make connections to major border cities, from which Mexican bus lines depart often to many other cities.
When you come from another town in Mexico, the bus is the best alternative: highly reliable and safe (most cases), confortable and not expensive.
If you plan stopovers on route, make sure that your ticket is written up in advance.
Mexico City has four long-distance bus terminals located close to Metro (subway) stations, the cheapest and most efficient method of transport between them and the city if you have little or no luggage.
All stations also offer services as restaurants, money-exchange booths or banks (ATMs), post offices, luggage storage, and long-distance telephone booths where you can also send a fax.
Central de Autobuses del Norte.
(North Bus Terminal).
Is the largest of the four and is located about 3 miles north of the Zócalo.
Autobuses del Norte subway station, Line 5 (yellow).
Terminal de Autobuses de Pasajeros de Oriente.
(East Bus Terminal).
Is located about 1 mile east of the Zócalo and is the closest to the airport.
San Lazaro subway station, Line 1 (rose).
Central Camionera del Poniente.
(West Bus Terminal).
It's about 5 miles south west of the Zócalo.
Observatorio subway station, Line 1 (rose).
Central Camionera del Sur.
(South Bus Terminal).
It's about 6 miles south of the Zócalo.
Taxqueña subway station, Line 2 (blue).
Platform announcements are mainly/only in Spanish.
There are only a couple or no bus services connecting the terminals themselves, ride a taxi if you need it.
When you get to the bus station, buy a ticket for your taxi (safe) at official taxi desks (with fixed-price tickets), inside terminal.
It isprohibited to carry bulky items on the subway.
I can tell you that busses here are very fast, because driving with a bus in Mexico City is like being a passenger in a race car. Be sure that you are the first one to get on the bus if more people are waiting. By that you have the time to sit before it is leaving. They don’t wait until you sit to follow their race. If you are the only passenger are the last of a group, better hold on or you will end in the back on a not so comfortable way ;-)
If you come from another Mexican city and you have to use public transport there is only one solution, the auto bus. Mexico doesn’t have public trains. It is strange, but a fact. Those busses are very clean and technical alright. They playing movies and music during your trip and the seats can be flat for a nap. I prefer the car as I am not aloud to smoke on those busses...
There are plenty of buses headed to Taxco. I took one from one of the southern bus stations in Mexico City. There are several other buses to direct locations within Mexico. If you are low on time, then head to Mexico City where you'll find more services.
At first I was pissed that I was going to be on a bus for 12 hours through the mountains to get to Huatulco. But I'm so glad that I did it. It was the most beautiful and scary scenary I have ever seen. The lush greenery and the astounding mountains were gorgeous.
Travel by bus in Mexico is comfortable, convenient, cheap and safe. Catching a bus is the best way to visit popular places like Acapulco or San Miguel de Allende or even make a day trip to Puebla.
To reach Acapulco, I highly recommend taking Estrella de Oro from the South terminal (Taxquena). You can even book from their Web site! Their Diamante service is comparable to business class in airlines (almost fully reclinable seats) and the front seats offer a nice, unobstructed, view. When you get back to Mexico City, take a ticket from the taxi booth. Finding a taxi to some remote areas of the city late at night might be difficult. Try to avoid coming back too late. The trip takes around 4 hours.
To get to San Miguel de Allende I have one recommendation: don't ever take a bus from ETN. Their service has been consistently poor if not simply rude. We were once refused boarding an executive service back to Mexico City despite being dead sick with diarrhea and had to catch a Herradura de Plata stopping service without any toilets. The trip was a nightmare and ETN never bothered apologising or refunding the tickets. A horrible company!
Amongst the many buses who go frequently to Puebla, I recommend Estrella Roja and their Pullman Plus service. The departure is from the West terminal (TAPO) and the arrival in Puebla (CAPU). It's easy to find safe taxis from both places. The journey takes around 2 hours and goes through nice pine forests.
Take a local bus from Mexico City. There are plenty going out from one of the northern bus stations. The bus takes less than one hour.
The bus is the best and the safest way to travel around in mexico
If you go on a trip like for example one day to Palenque it is best to hire a van for a day. Like this black one