Public transportation in Mexico: how does it work?
Public transportation in Mexico can be very inexpensive, but it can also be quite daunting if you don’t speak the language or know the local rules. There are many public transportation options in Mexico, here are some tips in case you are wondering how does it work.
- Air travel: This is the fastest and most convenient way to get around if you will be covering long distances. There are a few Mexican domestic airlines, as well as low cost Carriers or charter flights, generally offering a good service at competitive prices.
- Buses: This is the second best option while traveling long distances. There is an extensive network of bus companies, which range from modern luxury coaches which offer on board services and that only stop at bus stations, to run down, low budget options that stop several times along the road. If you’re planning a long journey, purchase the most expensive option, you won’t regret it. Most bus companies have Apps or online ticket sale. Try to buy them in advance if your dates are not flexible or if you are traveling during high season (Christmas, New Years, Holy week or summer vacation (July through August).
- Local Buses: Generally known as camiones or colectivos, they are usually the cheapest way to get around cities. They run frequently, and are quite inexpensive; try to pay with exact change. They usually halt on bus stops called “paradas”. Most people in Mexico are very kind, so if you ask for help, they will let you know when your stop is near.
- Car rental: There are plenty of rental car companies, both national and International franchises. Driving your own car gives your greater independence but baer in mind that it could be challenging or even dangerous. People in Mexico drive defensively and don’t always obey traffic sings or speed limits. Having car insurance is a must, just as you would do in any other country in the world.
- Taxis: Taxis are a common way of transportation but you will be safer if you ask for a “Taxi de sitio” (authorized taxi) instead of waving one from the street. Depending on the taxi “sitio” or company, they will either charge you a flat rate or they will use a meter. The best option would be to download the apps for Uber or Cabify, it is faster, safer and less expensive than using taxis, just make sure this service is available in the cities you will be visiting.