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Transport in Mexico City, Mexico

Getting There
The international terminal in Mexico City is Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez which is located in the eastern part of the city. As well as international flights, however, all domestic flights will also land at this airport. Most major airlines fly directly to the city including virtually all the major US carriers.

The easiest way to reach downtown is probably to take the official airport taxis which will only cost about N$80 to most parts of the inner city. To ensure that it is an official taxi it will be yellow and white with a picture of an aeroplane. They will also say Transportacion Terrestre on the side and are marked with an stripe along the bottom of the back registration number. You will need a ticket in advance but this can be purchased in the arrivals terminal.

There is a Metro station within walking distance from the terminal. If you have quite a bit of luggage, however, you really should take a taxi as pickpockets are rife and backpacks and suitcases are not allowed on the train during rush hour.

The capital also has rail connections with Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende, San Luis Potosi and Saltillo so if you do arrive in Mexico City by train you will arrive at the Estacion Central de Pasajeros Buenavista. This is located on the corner of Avienda Insurgentes Norte and Calle Mosqueta and is only a short cab ride from the main accommodation regions in the city.

Finally, bus connections from other destinations will arrive at one of the four terminals – Terminal Central del Norte (Northern Terminal), Terminal Central del Poniente or Central Observatorioa (Western Terminal), Terminal Central del Sur (Southern Terminal) and Terminal del Oriente or Terminal Tapo (Eastern Terminal). These are located at 4907 Avenida de los Cien Metros 4907, Avenida Sur 122, Avenida Taxquena 1320 and Calzada Ignacio Zaragoza 200 respectively. Each serve their own set of destinations which are listed below.

Firstly, the Northern Terminal has connections to and from the Pacific Coast as far as Puerto Vallarta, the Gulf Coast as far as Veracruz as well as Colima, Durango, Guadalajara, Morelia, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas. To get into town from this terminal you can take the metro or the trolleybus.

The Western Terminal has connections to and from Acapulco, Colima, Ixtapa – Zhihuatanejo, Queretaro, Toluca, Valle de Bravo as well as other smaller western and northwestern cities. The station is located right next to Metro Observatorio.

The Southern Terminal handles connections to and from Acapulco, Cuernavaca, Taxco and Zihuatanejo and if you want to get downtown again you can either take a metro or a trolleybus.

And, finally, the Eastern Terminal deals with connections to and from Amecameca, Jalapa, Puebla and other eastern destinations and to get to the city centre from here take the Metro which is located very close to the bus station.

Getting Around
Despite the size of the city, getting around using public transport should pose very few problems and is exceptionally cheap. The best method of travel is the Metro which has been around since 1969 and is currently cater for over four and a half million passengers per day. It is best to avoid it during rush hour which takes place between 7.00am and 10.00am and again between 5.00pm and 8.00pm because as well as being completely overcrowded, backpacks and large packages are not allowed on the trains at this time either. It is also advisable to buy a number of tickets at a time as long queues are commonplace. Lines 1, 2 and 3 are open between 5.00am and 12.30am from Monday to Friday, between 6.00am and 1.30am on Saturday and between 7.00am and 12.30am on Sunday. Lines 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and B open for an extra hour from Monday to Friday.

There is also an extensive bus system in the city. The main city buses are Ruta-100 and they will clearly display their route in the windscreen. There are also a selection of white or green minibuses known locally as peseros. Unlike the municipal buses, these can be stopped anywhere by shouting ‘bajan’. Fares range between N$2.00 for up to five kilometres , N$2.50 for up to 12 kilometres, N$3.00 for anything over this distance and N$4.00 between 11.00pm and 6.00am. You should also note that it is not advisable to travel on either form of public transport very late at night.

There are several types of taxi available, however, and it is recommended that you avail of one in cases where you are travelling late at night or where you are unsure of an area. The regular taxis are yellow and have meters and although you pay 10% more at night they still work out cheaper than the unofficial variety. Jitney or pesero taxis which are green or white in colour and have already being mentioned above. Sitio taxis which are red operate from official ranks and it is advisable to agree on a fare beforehand. You will find unmetred taxis outside the major hotels and again agree on a price beforehand. In fact, whether or not taxis have a metre, it is always advisable to do this to avoid being overcharged and you should not hail taxis in the street. Finally, the safest option of all are radio taxis which you can order over the phone or from hotels and restaurants

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