By Bus, Mexico City
METROBUS is a new system in the city.
This bus will take you from north to south or the other way around - all the stop stations are in Insurgentes Avenue.
The cost of it is around 4 pesos per ticket.
This bus will be helpful in order to move further without taking the metro.
Just avoid it in clock times (8-10am - 6-8pm) they are FULL
The Touribus is the best way to get to know this awesome city. You can buy one- to three-day-tickets. Three days are most worth it though, as e.g. I myself for the first day did nothing else but a round trip without hopping on and off, but marked the want-to-see-sights for the next two days. This round trip takes three hours - if you're not resting, so you can easily get an impression of how big this city really is. The next two days you can take the Turibus to get to the sites you marked the first day. The good thing about it is, there are stops althrough the city center, so you can hop on or off wherever you want to, although it says, start of the tour is the Auditorio Nacional. Besides there are stops near sites that - without this bus - would take you some time (and nerves) to get there.
Some of the places the bus stops are:
- Museo Tamayo
- Monumento a la Revolución
- Museo de Antropología
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.
Microbuses haven an approximate schedule: from 5:00 to 24:00 hrs. The fare varies according to the distance traveled.
Buses only pick up passengers at established bus stops. The price varies according to the distance traveled.
Electric trolleybuses only travel on some avenues and pick up passengers only at established stops.
The city government had this brilliant idea of building this weird thing called Metrobus..... it's a long bus in fact, and it originally covered a fixed straight route along our longest avenue, Insurgentes, which goes across the entire city from the very north to the very south tip. There are many stops along the avenue and the stations somewhat ressemble a small open-air metro station. Nowadays lines 2-3-4-5 have been opened, which run along several avenues (Benjamin Franklin, Xola, Cuauhtemoc, Vallejo in the northern part of the city, etc.) connecting the city from east to west and which have the same operation system as the 1st line. One of the newest ones - Line no. 4 - takes you from Buenavista, close to downtown, to the airport. There are special buses with luggage space and a non-stop service to the airport, and regular buses which do stop along the way.
In order to use this bus you must buy an electronic card (looks like a credit card, see my previous tip about the metro card and it looks just the same) which costs $10 MXN (less than $1 USD) and then add/charge the amount of money you want in it depending on how many trips you're going to make. Each 1-way trip costs $6.00 MXN (2014) regardless of the distance you'll be traveling (NOTE: the fee to go to the airport is higher). A free transfer between lines is allowed as long as it's done within 2 hours of boarding the bus for the first time. There are machines located at the entrance of each station where you can both purchase and/or recharge cards.
This bus runs at street level on the central lanes of Insurgentes, Xola and other avenues, stops only on each assigned station and must respect traffic lights as regular vehicles do. The special lane where it runs was specifically designed for the Metrobus and no other vehicle -except for ambulances - is authorized to use it. When the Metrobus was introduced they banned the regular buses which would stop every 5 meters on the right-most lane of the street, causing chaos and traffic jams. Supposedly the traffic is more efficient now (yeah right), and since each station is located at a corner you can easily cross the first 3 lanes - when the traffic light allows you to, of course - and get to the middle of the avenue where the Metrobus station is located. There are pedestrian traffic lights now in every corner (I know this is normal in many countries but not here!).
You can find more information and see a map with all of the Metrobus lines & stations at the website provided below (in Spanish only). Also, keep in mind that most part of the day and especially in central areas/stations these buses get EXCESSIVELY crowded (the Metrobus transports over 300,000 people everyday) and it's almost impossible to board them. Sometimes you have to wait for 4-5 buses to pass by before you can hop into one. It really is a hassle to use these buses so if you can avoid it, all the better. Use them only if it's really necessary and there aren't other means of transportation available in the area.
Modeled after the London double-decker buses, the Turibus is a great way to get around Mexico City and enjoy the major attractions. There are two routes, one covers Reforma Avenue, all the major museums and downtown. The second route covers the southern part of the city.
You can get on and off as many times as you want during the day and rates are affordable, between $10 and $14, depending on the day of the week. The top deck is open and you have a 360 degree view, the cost includes a pre-recorded guide available in six languages, there are no bathrooms on the bus and it is recommended that you take precautions against the sun.
City buses, like the Metro, are just two pesos for a ride, but they are a little more confusing, so if you don't know the routes, it can be a challenge. However, one commonly used route is along Reforma all the way from the Indios Verdes Metro/Bus Station in the north down to the University in the South (Universidad Metro stop) and running in the opposite direction too. You can ask someone for the correct bus number for your destination, but you can also check the front window of the bus where the destination will be displayed.
You'll see these microbuses, also known as peseros, around town and they are often more frequent than the regular buses. After visiting the National Anthropology Museum one morning, I decided to walk all the way down Reforma back to my hotel near the Zocalo. However, after about a half hour, I realized this was a REALLY long walk, so I decided to jump on one of the microbuses that was passing by. The drivers will slow down if you make eye contact with them. It was 4.50 pesos and you can just look for the destination (usually more than one listed) in the front window. Some locals warned me that the drivers are crazy, but I didn't have any problem on my ride.
If you're coming from another town in Mexico maybe the bus is your best alternative, because it's cheaper than renting a car and paying the high toll fees they charge in some of our highways/roads (some of which are in not-so-good conditions), not to mention the fuel, all of which makes travelling by car somewhat expensive. Also, even though we already have several budget airlines operating and offering cheap flights within the country, sometimes the distances aren't that big so flying isn't worthwhile and the bus is much cheaper.
The bus service in Mexico is highly reliable and takes you mostly anywhere, it's not expensive and it's fairly safe. We have 4 bus terminals in the north (Central Camionera del Norte), south (Central Camionera del Sur), east (TAPO) and west (Observatorio) of the city. All of them are next to a metro station, so they are very easily accesible if you want to catch a bus from Mexico City to another town in Mexico (including the Teotihuacan Pyramids).
If you're coming into Mexico City and you don't want to ride the metro after arriving at any of these bus stations, take safe/authorized taxis and avoid hailing one at the street: these latter may be dangerous as there are many people in these terminals - especially tourists - so it's more probable that thieves search for victims around here.
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.
When I couldn´t take the Metro - I also took the private little buses which are driving around everywhere.
Just take care that they do not let you pay too much money just because you are a tourist - I am not sure if I did not do that two years ago.
The good thing is they always have a lot of the places they go to on their buses - so just put up your hand and jump in - I´m serious - jump, pay and hold on...
The public buses are cheaper, I guess, but you will see them not as often.
(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.
Taking the bus in Mexico is both cheap and efficient. There are lots of different companies that drives all over the country. You can take everything from expencive deluxe buses to cheap, bumpy "chickenbuses".
If you plan on covering a long distance by overnight bus it might be better to pay a little bit more for a first-class bus. They don't always go direct, but they have just a few stops. The second-class and other buses stops at every corner, and people come and go all the time, which makes it very difficult to sleep.
All of the first-class buses, and many second-class, have both TV and air condition. Normally they show an old american movie with spanish subtitles.
Taking the bus around is cheap and safe, sometimes it can be very crowded but its a fun experience in itself. Depending on the bus, it will cost anywhere from 2 - 3.50 pesos per ride (20-30 cents USD) so its not much. Try to understand where you want to go and explain it to the driver if you want to make sure you're getting on the right bus, the system can be complicated. Usually I always talked to the driver, or asked other locals in advance the name of the bus I wanted and what direction it was going in.
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.