Public Transportation

Mexico City is home to approximately 19 million people and is made up of 350 neighborhoods.  Fortunately, the city’s public transportation system is efficient, extensive and user friendly.  Carlos’ mother lives on the Northern edge of the city approximately 1 to 2 hours, depending on traffic, from the city center.  That’s 1 to 2 hours driving, not walking.  Buses run from her neighborhood to this bus station at Taxquena where we are able to transfer to the subway which takes us into town.  Buses are frequent, sometimes one right after another and we have never had to wait more than 5 minutes for one to show up.  The same is true for the subways, although during busy times it’s sometimes impossible to squeeze onto the first or second train that passes.   

Most of the buses we take are the smaller green and white buses pictures above.  From what I understand buses are each individually owned and operated.  The government is in the process of trying to encourage drivers to upgrade to newer and larger buses but is having difficulty due to the cost incurred by the driver to purchase the new bus.  Tickets are relatively inexpensive, we travel for about an hour for 4 pesos which is about $0.40.  The subway costs even less, around 2 pesos and all transfers are free.  This is a real bonus to the many vendors that spend their entire day walking the length of each subway car selling anything from CDs to candy to giant pencils and lighters.  Bus riders also encounter vendors at just about every red light.  Most drivers allow them to jump on board for a couple seconds and try to sell their goods.  In some cases people requesting donations to help fund various city services also board at red lights and quickly make their requests.

Outside of the bus stations the buses will stop just about anywhere someone flags them down.  One thing I really enjoy about the buses is that there is always music playing and it is always so random.  Music plays everywhere in Mexico City including on the buses, in parks, on the street and in the markets.  A good percentage of it is in English and it’s always something funny from LL Cool J circa 1992 to the soundtrack from Grease to more modern selections.  The funniest part is that no one else thinks it’s funny.  Carlos and I have had several good laughs about some of the tunes we’ve been subjected to on our bus rides.


1 Response to “Public Transportation”

  1. 1 Donna October 5, 2008 at 5:20 am

    haha….you must have loved the LL COOL J music!!!!

    don’t pretend you didn’t!!

    any mariah carey music on the buses too? your dream come true!!!

    or maybe some baja men…”…who let the dogs out!!..”

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