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MEXICO CITY

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MEXICO CITY

TRANSPORT


Coming and going through the streets of the largest city of the world is a fascinating adventure that will allow you to discover the heart and essence of Mexico. During your rides through streets, plazas and avenues, be partner with precaution and always keep a street-plan at hand, it will be very useful to find the best ways through the urban traffic of the ancient Tenochtitlán.

On your tour through the Aztec megalopolis you can choose between the urban public transportation system (Subway Underground, trolleybuses, microbuses and collectives), the taxi service (there are various modalities), or getting behind the wheel of a rented car as well; the latter decision must be meditated thoroughly before opting for it because traffic in the Mexican capital is untidy and chaotic, almost impassable.

Urban Transportation

The biggest city of the world has an extensive and varied public transportation system, with Subway Underground lines, trolleybuses, buses and microbuses which circulate regularly. It is a recommendable system in general, except during rush hours when the vehicles are packed with passengers.
The urban transportation system has convenient and flat (multi-ticket) rates, meaning that you can realize various trips and connections with the same ticket, especially alternating between the subway underground and the trolleybuses.

There exist the following modalities of urban passenger transportation in the City of Mexico and the Federal District:

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    • Metro or Subway Underground: It is the most efficient and modern means of transportation of the city. It runs through various routes including the main tourist attractions. Its tariffs are convenient at it is possible to make changes from one line to another without having to purchase a new ticket.
      Due to its route diversity, travelling through the underground can be a little confusing for visitors; therefore it is recommendable to carry a tube-plan (they can be obtained at the stations for free).
      You must also take into consideration that you are not allowed to carry large valises or bundles, and that during rush hours there are extra cars for women and children exclusively.
      You need to be extremely aware during rush hours, for pickpockets make good use of tumults to lay hand on other people's properties. The metro runs Mondays through Saturdays from 5 in the morning until midnight, and Sundays from 7 in the morning until midnight as well.


    • Trolleybuses: They run through very few routes though they offer a good service. You may purchase a multi-ticket (abono) with which you can travel through this means, the metro and the microbuses.


    • Microbuses: They are known as trucks (camiones) and are all over the city. They carry a sign indicating their final destination in the forefront, besides; they exhibit a number and classification according to their route.
      It is not a comfortable means of transportation in general terms, though it is very convenient when your budget is low for its rates are very economic.


    • Collectives or Peseros: They are Volkswagen vans painted in white with red, grey and green stripes. They cover predetermined routes through the main avenues of the city. The cost of the ticket depends on the distance travelled.
    Taxi Service

    There are many modalities of taxi service in the gigantic Mexican capital. With or without taximeters, painted in yellow, green, orange or any other colour, the vehicles go through the city at day or at night. The options are multiple and varied, it is a matter of knowing how to choose that which better fits your requirements.

    Usually the rates are not that high. If the vehicle does not have a taximeter, agree to the price before getting in. Likewise, if you are thinking about taking a cab at night, it is recommended to ask a reliable firm for the service; otherwise, be very careful for some delinquents pose as taxi drivers.

    There are many taxi modalities in the city:
    • Radio-Taxis: It is the safest option, especially if you are travelling at night, though their rates are higher than those of a non registered taxi. They are identifiable by their radio antennas.
      The radio-taxi firms keep a permanent registration of the car and the driver offering the service. Consult the telephone directory or at the hotel to know which number to call.


    • Tourist Type Taxis: They are parked at the doors of the main hotels. They have high tariffs compared to the other taxi modalities. The units do not have taximeters, therefore, you have to agree to the price of the service before getting into the vehicle.


    • Taxis of Site: They are orange and are parked at special taxi stops, generally on the street corners. The cost of the service is lower than that of other taxi modalities. They have no taximeters, therefore, it is advisable to agree to the price before boarding the unit. They can be found 24 hours a day.


    • Itinerant Taxis: The service is generally offered by beetle Volkswagens painted in green (the cleanest), yellow and white. They carry taximeters and though their rates are very economic, you need to beware when boarding them for most of the assaults and robberies occur inside these vehicles. If you hop into one of these units, verify that the driver exhibits his identification card at full sight and that the photo matches the driver's face.
    Driving in Mexico

    Taking the wheel in the Aztec capital can become an extreme experience. Drivers in the city of Mexico and the Federal District are usually disrespectful concerning traffic regulations: They ignore the signs and the red traffic lights, switch lanes in an untimely manner, and drive both ways on a one way street, just to cite a few of their most frequent absurdities.

    Another difficulty for starters is that the names of the streets and avenues are not always visible from inside the car, thus increasing the chance of mistaking the route. If you are encouraged enough to drive in Mexico, it is indispensable to acquire a street-plan of the city for the pedestrians are not a reliable source of information, and often their indications can get you further lost. If you need orientation resort to taxi drivers.

    If you are thinking of leaving the City of Mexico, pick the toll motorways for, in spite of the high toll rates, they are wide roads kept in good conditions; as opposed to the free or state roads, which are narrow and congested.

    There are numerous car rental agencies in the City of Mexico. In order to rent a vehicle, you need to present an international driver licence, or a valid one of your country of origin, besides a credit card.

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