Jun 19, 2014, 10:32 AM
Two weeks ago I spent the week in Mexico City. Great time! My Yucatecan wife piled on all the fears of crime in the big city. Reminded me of my suburban neighbors in my parents' own neighborhood warning of travel into Philadelphia. Well, in both cases one has to chose the part of the city, and not flaunt signs of any wealth. Had no confrontation with any of the dreaded criminals.
Great visit to D.F., enjoyed the MetroBus from Airport
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From the Benito Juarez Airport (AICM), I took the fairly new Linea 4 Norte Airport MetroBus from the airport, and on my way out. Since it charges 30 pesos, that line does not get loaded up with passengers. There is a rack for suitcases. They come about every 15 min. to Terminal 1 (Interjet), then go to Terminal 2, before proceeding into town. I took the MB to Hidalgo station, then walked down across and then to the left to get the MB that would take me to my hotel. A religious procession closed down the second line, the agents pulling down the curtain door to travelers, so I had to go underground to travel by Metro. If traveling light (I only had one suitcase and a carry-on), the Metro is doable if not comfortable.
I found a dearth of free maps. The city and federal tourism folks were not in evidence in T-1 or, as far as I could see, anywhere else. Nothing like the nice bus and subway maps distributed and available for free at many NYC subway stations. Metro and MB stations do have good system wall maps (of themselves) and of the area around each particular station.
Although a DF area resident for 3 years up until 1990, I have no idea how to navigate the many trolley buses and combis. If one has pre-checked on a PC, or has a smart phone, there is a great website for getting around by public transit,
(Sorry, cannot locate my ref to a site that has Edomex transit info.)
Fortunately, for MB and Metro, I had printed off system maps from their respective websites.
oops, forget to mention...
MetroBuses ply wholly or primarily exclusive street lanes, with station stops every 6 or 7 blocks apart. Some routes, such as Linea 4 Norte Aeropuerto, do use and cross major streets for parts of the route, as well as having MB use only lanes.
Regular DF buses are the RTP system.
The trolley bus (trolebús) routes are of the STE.
MB has its own payment card. You need to present an MB card or a DF card, both with sufficient money deposited, to enter the MB. There are machines to buy or recharge MB cards within the Airport near the exits where the MB stops. I believe the DF card is good also for the RTP and STE, but not for the privately-run combi routes. Other than the airport route, the MB is 6 pesos per ride, or free if with an INAPAM card (if a police officer is near the entranceway).
The police presence in metro and MB stations is quite evident.
By the way, no matter how crowded the metro (and there are special cars for women only), vendors managed to squeeze in at every station to hawk their wares. I only took about 10 metro trips, but so no one buying. I did not see any hawkers aboard the MB.
For that matter, many ground level metro entrances were hidden by vendor stands. I followed the flow to find the entrances.
I walked extensively throughout the neighborhoods of Roma Sur and Norte, Condesa, and Polanco, as well as in the historic old city. The neighborhoods I found very pretty, with ample small parks/gardens. Many cafes lined the streets. 8 a.m. was a common hour for many of the earliest restaurants to open. Indeed, it was hard to find a newspaper for sale much earlier than 8.
There is so much to see! And many (live) theatre offerings on the weekend, as listed in the publication Tiempo Libre, which is available Thursday mornings and seems to sell out quickly. Plus so many movies, including many that never make it into the provinces, at least not into Mérida.