domingo, 7 de octubre de 2012

Transmilenio - The Fastest Way to Get Around in Bogota

Transmilenio bus system in Bogota Colombia
Traffic Free lanes help make the Transmilenio
an attractive service in a city riden with heavy traffic. 
Bogota is a really big city with lots of traffic. Getting accross town can take forever, especially in the more congested areas such as Downtown (el Centro).

During rush hour, it can literally take you hours to go to or come from Downtown or other traffic infested areas. Bogota does however have a great system of extra long buses that drive on traffic free streets -- in private lanes that cars are not allowed to drive on. They can help get you were you want to go in a fraction of the time that it would take you in a car or taxi. This transportation system is called the Transmilenio.

Transmilenio Bus Routes

The Transmilenio has many routes and covers most of the important destinations in the city. It is also growing day by day with more routes being added constantly.

Map of Transmilenio Bus Routes in Bogota Colombia

You can visit (in Spanish) to find the quickest routes to get from one place to another. There are also mobile apps that can give you specific bus route information and schedules that you can use when you are on the go.

Transmilenio Bus Schedule

Monday through Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sundays and Holidays: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Pros and cons of Bogota's Transmilenio Service. 

Transmilenio will indeed get you where you want to go really quickly -- compared to other transportation alternatives. However, it is very packed. Most of the time you wont be able to find a seat and will have to spend your transit period standing up. During peak hours, you'll see people pushin and shoving their way into the bus in order to fit. You can consider it like being crammed into a can of sardines.

Transmilenio Peak hour in Bogota
Pick pocketers take advantage of this crowded environment in order to try to take other peoples personal belongings (cell phones, wallets, etc.). So just make sure you keep your belongings safe if you are using Transmilenio during peak hours.

Some people avoid the system during peak hours for this reason. Other people believe that the time you save is worth more than the hassle of having to stand in a crammed area. It all depends on what your level of comfort is and how much of a hurry you find yourself in.

As for me, I do use cabs. But mainly to ask the driver to "take me to the nearest Transmilenio station."

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