Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Travel options in Mexico City

As one of the biggest cities in the world, CDMX has an amazing number of travel options. Although we mainly used the extensive metro system I kept my eye out for alternatives, and there were many--from buses and taxis to pedicabs and bicycles.


Buses range from upscale urban trolleys...


to rattletraps, large and small, some with with dents.



The smaller buses can be waved down and you know their destination by the (often confusing) signs in the front window. You really have to know where you're going before you wave one of these down.

Along the main streets there are often stone benches and trees where people can wait for transit. This fellow is using some of the street art benches for a break.






The metro system is really excellent with 12 different lines crisscrossing the city and 195 stations. It's the second largest system in North America after New York, and serves more than 1.5 billion passengers a year.




Depending on what time of day you travel your experience can vary. Between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm it's like this...



But earlier in the morning or later in the day it's incredibly crowded. Even though trains come every three minutes there's always a crowd on the platform pushing to get in. After a couple of experiences of being shoved in and sweltering in the heat we decided to plan our trips for other times of the day. 


One of the things that makes metro travel interesting is the variety of vendors that get on and give their sales pitches in loud voices. This guy is selling cell phone chargers but we've also seen people selling plastic water bottles, elastic bandages, and clothing as well as people simply begging, often coming through with visible handicaps. One guy with no legs crawled through the car and then got off at the next stop. Most people seem to ignore them but the man with no legs was given some small coins by a number of passengers.

The metro is a much faster way to get around the city than driving, especially during rush hour.
Traffic in the city is gridlocked in the morning and the evening and of course buses and taxis get caught in it as well.                                                                         


These pink and white taxis are everywhere and in the historic centre we also saw these bicycle taxis, probably be faster for short  trips.    



Cycling is really a big thing here. The city has a bike share program that's widely used and there are segregated bike lanes along most of the major vehicle routes. They're done in a very clever way, set into the pavement so they can be removed if necessary. Quite a lot simpler than Victoria's segregated bike lanes. 



There are also a lot of bike racks around, including this colourful arty one.





The photo on the right is one of the many EccoBici stations. The first hour is free every day once you've signed up for a card.

Sunday in CDMX is car-free day  with the longest avenue, The Reforma, completely closed to vehicle traffic so that cycles and skateboards and walkers can cruise along. It's really a big thing here, with thousands  of people on bikes taking part and it has a real celebratory feeling.


The photo on the left shows  the scene at all of the roads leading into the Reforma. And on the right is the closed off street. I wish Victoria could get it together to do this every Sunday, say on Government Street.








One final image for transportation is this truck that cruises around neighbourhoods picking up old furniture and mattresses. Not sure if they're destined for a dump or for people in need. But this is something you don't see in Canada. We saw several of these in various neighbourhoods.




One thing for sure, you know you're not in Victoria on the streets of Mexico City.

2 comments:

  1. Those benches in couch form certainly do catch the eye.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like William the couch looks like fun.
    The bicycles and bicycle taxis look like the best way to get around.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish.

    ReplyDelete

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