Monday, July 6, 2015

What you should know about buses in Querétaro

When you first get here having to figure out a bus route is going to be more difficult than flying to Mexico. Back in Switzerland I was used to perfectly timed buses, tables with routes and bus stops and screens that project the remaining waiting time until the bus or tram arrival. Well, in Querétaro none of this exists; waiting at the bus stop you won’t find any tables showing you the bus routes. If you want to take the bus and arrive at the desired arrival point you will have to prepare and study the routes first.

With the following tips you will make your way through Querétaro faster than you’ll know it.

  • There are fixed routes but the bus stops are not 100% fixed or named. if they see someone along the route stopping the bus, they will pick the person up, even if they are not waiting at a bus stop. You can’t find the names of the bus stops online, you will have to orientate yourself according to Colonias and learn the names of places little by little by asking, chatting and exploring. 
  • On the window of the buses the main stops that it passes by are listed i.e. the big plazas and streets. 
  • I would not just stand on the side of the rode hoping that the bus will stop for me, because very often they don’t, even if you are stading at the bus stop. To stop the bus you need to lift up your arm and signal clearly to the driver that you need to get on the bus. It’s happened a few times that I stood at the bus stop pulling out my arm and the bus just kept driving. Coversely, I’ve also stopped a bus once or twice from the road where there wasn’t an actual stop. But as a rule of thumb, always wait at the bus stop and if you need to be somewhere take 2 buses earlier. 
  • Most buses come every 10 minutes. 
  • QRutas: On that webpage or, if you have an android, with the app, you can choose your point of origin and your point of arrival and the system will generate the nearest stations and all buses that pass the route that you need. You can see the whole route of the bus and how much time it will take. 
  • Sometimes you’ll see people counting the time between bus routes called checadores. If the bus drivers are running late they tell them to hurry up. Checadores stand at the bus stops and know all the bus routes and numbers, so you can ask them if you need to know which bus to take to get to a certain place.

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