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Ground transportation
 Page updated on 03.10.2015
 
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Whenever you want to get around or escape the city, you have options of transportation :

Metro

The metro is easy to use. Every station is well indicated and every line has a different color. Each ticket is good for one ride including transfers ($3 the ride). The metro is open from 5 AM to midnight from Monday to Friday and from 6AM on Saturday and from 7AM on Sunday. The airport is accessible with line 5. Go the Terminal Aérea (to or from the room A). The metro services most of the tourist sites (with transfers sometimes). Maps of the metro network are available in every station or on the website : or .

Be aware that during the rush hours (7AM/10AM-5PM/8PM), you are not allowed to use the metro with big luggage.
The metro is pleasant to use with wide, clean and well lighted corridors. The signs are easy to read too.

In the cars, the stations are shown with designs as well as names. The forward cars are reserved to women and children.

Example of ride time : Metro Zócalo-Guadalupe : 35 min; Zócalo-Tlatelcolco : 15 min.

Alstom Transport won the contract of modernization of the metro of Mexico City : equipment of 25 trains on the line 8 between August 2007 and February 2008, and the maintenance contract for ten years.

In the city with heavy traffic as in Mexico City and Guadalajara, the metro is, like everywhere else, the fastest way of transportation. There is huge activity in Mexico City (the average daily number of passengers in 2010 : 3,8 million with 175 stations and 11 lines).



Autobus

It is the only real mean of transportation in Mexico. Mexico modernized itself and offers several ultra modern bus lines to connect the big cities of the city. They offer a frequent and reliable service. You have a choice between the autobus :

DELUXE (de lujo or ejecutivo) : they provide the most frequent connections. They are fast, modern, with air conditioning and toilets. Food and drink are available on board. – companies ETN, ADO-GL, UNO, Primera Plus, Tap, Estrella de oro diamante or Crucero or plus, Pullman ejecutivo or dorada or de lujo, etc
First class : (primera clase) : comfortable, with air conditioning and toilets : They connect the big cities- companies Cristobal Colon, ADO, Pullman de Morellos, Estrella de Oro primera, Pacifico, Omnibus de Mexico, Flecha Amarilla, Lina dorada, Pullman primera clase, greyhound , etc.. In this category First class, an attendant offers drinks and snacks on board.
Direct economic (directo économico) : Ado économico, AU, Cuenca, Sur, Pullman Lasser
2NDE class (segunda clase) : provide the connections between the smaller cities, the villages and some interurban rides. They are different concerning the comfort and security. Companies Herradura de Plata, Estrella Roja, etc…

You have to buy your deluxe and first class ticket at the window.
In the big cities, the companies of autobus are grouped in a Bus Station that can be located outside the city, which will involve taking a taxi to reach it. In some big cities, there are two bus stations, one called central de autobuses, the other one terminal de autobuses.
Except for the second class autobus, you will be able to reserve your seat with their computerized system. For half a day trip, just go to the station half an hour ahead. For longer trips, make reservations 24 hours ahead.

You can also, now, make reservation through the internet : www.ticketbus.com.mx or by phone : 01- 800-702-80-00 (outside Mexico City) or in Mexico City (55) 51 33 24 24 – The website gives you schedules, companies names and fares as well as links to franchises of hotels, in 4 languages (Spanish, English, French and German). It is by far, the best way to find any information (company; fare; terminal; departure time) before a trip. Credit cards accepted. Be aware that, sometimes, some destinations are missing : don’t be surprised !

Be sure to go the the right station. Some destinations like Puebla have departures from different stations. Mexico City is a megalopolis ! The website advises to make reservations one day ahead.

The bus company ADO offers a pass called "buspass" for 7, 14, 21 or 30 days across the country, in comfortable buses with air conditioning and toilets, for the respective fares of US$195, US$295, US$395 or US$660. Log on to their site : www.buspass.com.mx.

You can buy bus tickets in downtown Mexico City at Isabel la Catolica # 83 (in a badly indicated garage), in an office on the right of the courtyard/parking (there is a sign “public E” for Estacionamento public). The office is also used for Multi Pack : open from Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 7 PM (closed from 3PM to 4PM) and on Saturday from 10 AM to 1 PM, 5133 2424. You can buy tickets to and from any city in Mexico.
Example : the price of the ticket Mexico-Puebla 1st class (primera) from TAPO, $130 and $75 for Cuernavaca.
Fares scale : Deluxe autobuses are 12 to 20% more expensive than first class autobuses, which are 10 to 20% more expensive than the second class autobuses.
You can safely travel by night. Like the Mexicans, we crossed a big part of the country by night. In each bus station, whatever the time you arrive, you will find an open coffee shop and above all, very clean toilets where you could even freshen up.

Always ask for a receipt for your checked luggage. Always keep your valuable belongings and documents with you. If you can’t get a receipt, especially in second class buses, keep your luggage with you. Be aware that if you have a big bag, only the seats by the side of the driver will be comfortable.

It is difficult to give you times and destinations but here are the websites of the most important bus companies :

ABC : www.abc.com.mx (Baja California and north-west)
ADO : www.ado.com.mx or www.adogl.com.mx
Estrella Blanca / Flecha Roja / Futura /Elite / Transportes Chihuahenses / Transportes del Norte / Turistar : www.estrellablanca.com.mx - (these companies are all part of the same group : Estrella Blanca)
Estrella de Oro : www.estrelladeoro.com.mx
Estrella de Roja : www.estrellaroja.com.mx
ETN : www.etn.com.mx, 01 800 8000 386 - www.turistar.com.mx
Ómnibus de México: www.odm.com.mx
Parhikuni de Michoacán : www.parhikuni.com
Pullman de Morelos : www.pullman.com.mx
UNO : www.uno.com.mx
Flecha amarilla : www.flecha-amarilla.com.mx (site often with problems)- same site as Primeraplus-
Turistarsur : www.costaline.com.mx (for the Pacific Coast and Mexico City)
TMT-Caminante : www.tmt-caminante.com.mx
Greyhound : for Tijuana/Mexicali/Nogales/Cd Juarez/Nuevo Laredo/Reynosa/Matamoros - www.greyhound.com.mx or 01 800 710 88 19.
Noroeste : www.turisticosnoroeste.com - (614) 411 57 83 or 01 800 400 1234
(transport for the north of Mexico).

You can consult the in order to obtain the complete list of the bus companies in Mexico.

ETN Company : you can double check in any forum : this company has an excellent service for some extra pesos. We really recommend it especially for long trips.

Bus stations in Mexico City
NORTH / TERMINAL CENTRAL DEL NORTE – av. de los 100 Metros N° 4907 – CP 07760 - Mexico DF - (55) 55 87 15 52 ou 55 53 68 81 71, Metro :Terminal de Autobuses Norte – Departures to Aguascalientes/Chihuahua/Durango/Guadalajara/Guanajuato/Léon/Mazatlán/Morelia/Monterrey/Pachuca/Palenque/
Puebla
/ Puerto Vallarta/Querétaro/San Luis Potosí/San Miguel de Allende/Teotihuacán/Tepic/Tijuana/ Tula/Zacatecas. Consult the site of the North Terminal for the list of the bus companies and the schedules/fares : www.centraldelnorte.com.mx
SOUTH / TERMINAL CENTRAL DEL SUR - av. Taxquena N° 1320 – CP 04200, Mexico DF - (55) 56 89 97 45– Metro:Taxquena, Departures to Acapulco/Cuernavaca/Huatulco/Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo/Oaxaca/Puebla/Taxco/Tepoztlán.
EAST / TERMINAL DE AUTOBUSES DE ORIENTE, also called Tapo – Calzada Ignacio Zaragoza N° 200 – CP 15440 Mexico DF (55)55 22 54 00, Metro : San Lázaro
Departures to Campeche/Cancún/Chetumal/Merida/Oaxaca/Puebla/San Cristóbal/Tuxtla/Veracruz/Villahermosa.
WEST / TERMINAL DE AUTOBUSES PONIENTE (west) – Sur 122 esquina Rio Tacubaya – CP 01130 Mexico DF – (55) 52 71 45 19 - Metro : Observatorio – Departures to Morelia/Pátzcuaro/Toluca.

The destinations are given as a rough guide only. You need to double check on the premises.

Every terminal offers luggage lockers, authorized taxis windows, tourist information booth, ATM, post, internet access, phones cards, newspapers stands, bar and snacks.




City transportation

The Angel of Independence on Paseo de la Reforma There are a lot of public transportations in Mexico City but no schedule, only bus stops indicated with a sign or a bus shelter. You can travel the whole city using the metro and peseros. To take a pesero, you need to speak a little bit of Spanish, have a good sense of direction or know the map. You pick a big avenue towards the wished direction and wave to the driver. You ask him if the bus goes to your destination and stay by the driver waiting for him to tell you where to get off the minibus. You need change - $2.50 for less than 5 km (4 miles), $3 between 5 and 12km (4 and 9 miles) and $4 for more than 12km (9 miles).
The pesero is an excellent and cheap way of visiting the city, but it could be crowded. By “colectivo”: service from 6 AM to 11 PM (mini-bus) – It will start when full. Fares are difficult to estimate but it is cheap.

Information : STC (Sîstema de Transporte Colectivo), (55) 5709 1133.
The system of Metrobus which opened in the city in June 2005 received bad criticism: it is more expansive ($5) than the peseros or colectivos. But these last ones pollute a lot and the City of Mexico is finally sensitive to the problem of pollution. The Mexicans think green and try to find solutions for a purer air! (Hybrid vehicles among other solutions).

      Left picture : The Angel of Independence on Paseo de la Reforma


May 2008 : Inauguration of the first rail of the Suburban Train servicing the East of Mexico City, It is predicted that they will transport up to 320,000 passengers every day, i.e. 100 million a year. There are plans in the near future to extend the second part of the rail 20 km (13 miles) longer.

Rental cars

It’s not difficult at all to rent a car if you have a valid driving license, a passport and an international credit card (age limit : 25 year old minimum, sometimes 21). You can rent a car in the airports, agencies, some hotels or Bus stations. Make a reservation several days ahead. If you book your reservation before leaving your country, you should save some money (the taxes called IVA). Make the right choice : limited or unlimited mileage depending on your planned trips. It is an excellent way to visit sites, markets or attend celebrations in remote places badly serviced by the public transport.

List of the international car rental companies (numbers in Mexico) :

ALAMO – 55 52 50 00 55 – International airport of México City - 55 57 86 92 14 - 01 800 849 80 01,  www.alamo.com
AVIS - 55 55 11 22 28 – International airport of México City - 55 57 62 32 62 - 55 88 88 88, 01 800 288 88 88,     www.avis.com
BUDGET – 55 55 66 88 15 – International airport of México City 55 57 84 30 11 - 55 66 68 00, 01 800 700 1700,         www.budget.com
DOLLAR – International airport of México City - 55 25 99 11 11,  www.dollar.com
EUROPCAR – 55 52 07 55 80 – International airport of México City - 55 57 86 82 64/65 - 01 800 201 20 84 ou 01 800 00     39500, www.europcar.com
HERTZ – 55 55 92 83 43 - International airport of México City - 55 57 62 83 72 - 01 800 709 50 00,  www.hertz.com
NATIONAL – 55 57 03 22 22 – International airport of México City - 55 57 86 90 26 - 01 800 716 66 25,     www.nationalcar.com
THRIFTY – 55 5207 1100 - International airport of México City - 55 57 86 82 68 - 57 86 94 86 or 87 01 800 021 22 77,      www.thrifty.com


Renting a car is quite expensive in Mexico : count on $700 to $850 a day for an economic car with unlimited mileage, including all insurances. It is a good idea to double check that the insurance policy includes the collision damage waiver and is still valid.
If you want to book through the Internet, you can log on to the websites :
www.mexicol.com- www.travelocity.com- www.hotelclub.net.

The numbers 01 800 are accessible for calls from outside Mexico city.

Traffic in the capital - (measures anti-pollution)

turibus to visit the city Because of an important pollution, Mexico City took anti-pollution measures with the program :”Hoy No Circular”, meaning don’t drive today. On the back window of each vehicle, a colored sticker reminds the license plate number. The last digit is linked to a color and a day of non allowed driving. If your license plate number ends in 5 or 6, you can’t drive on Monday (yellow) and the first saturday each month; if it ends in 7 or 8, you can’t drive on Tuesday (pink) and the second saturday each month; if it ends in 3 or 4, you can’t drive on Wednesday (red) and the third saturday each month; if it ends in 1 or 2, you can’t drive on Thursday (green) and the fourth saturday each month; if it ends in 9 or 0, you can’t drive on Friday (blue) and the fifth saturday each month. This rule is applied from 5AM to 10PM from monday to saturday but is lifted on Sundays.
Since January, 1st 2008, the Hoy No Circular is also adopted on Saturdays, meaning that 1/5 of the vehicles can’t run between 10AM and 6PM.
The foreign registered vehicles or without registration can’t drive in the Capital from Monday to Friday, 5AM-11AM.
If you rent a car, be sure that you have the code 00 (double zero) on the lateral window; this code allows you to drive every day. If you don’t respect the rule, you could receive at least a $1500 fine.

The Paseo de la Reforma Avenue and the historic center, by the Zócalo is off limits to cars from 7AM to 2PM on Sundays. Log onto : www.sma.df.gob.mx.

     Above picture on right : turibus to visit the city

  

 

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