Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One Family's Return Trip: Step By Step Transmilenio

One of the most practical ways to get around Bogotá is on the TRANSMILENIO. Here is a HOW TO GUIDE for getting on the Transmilenio.

Step #1 Go to the ticket booth at a Transmilenio Bus station. [There are 3 kinds of stations: PORTALES (Main -- located at the beginning and end of the line); INTERMEDIAS (Intermediate -- found at major intersections); and SENCILLAS (Simple -- found along the route approximately every 1/4 mile). Maps of the routes can be found here:

Step #2 Purchase your Bus tickets at the Taquilla. Currently the price is $1600 (in 2010) pesos per person, and includes transfers to other buses (ALIMENTADORES) that are located in the station where you get off. If this seems confusing get someone at the hotel where you are staying to tell you where to get on and where to get off or shange buses to get where you are going. We relied heavily on our friends, whom we affectionately call the Tomato and his wife, to explain to us how to get from point A to point B.


Step #3 You will receive a card, 1 per family with all of the money that you put on it for the trip. I the video below you will see how to use it. You can put as much money on it as you want. We put just enough for the ride there and back. That way if it gets lost, you aren't losing a fortune.


Step #4 Watch this video of how to use the card to get onto the plateform. Also remember, that if you still have moeny on the card, it will pop out. If you do not, the machine will eat your card.
video


While taking the Transmilenio is very safe, here are a few tips to help make sure that your trip is as safe as it can be:

#1 -- Carry your backpack on your front and not your back.

#2 -- Do not put your wallet in you back pocket.

#3 -- Don't flash around a big camera or anything expensive (no jewelry, watches, etc.)

#4 -- Be aware of your surroundings.

1 comment:

Kit said...

You forgot to say Step 1 Breathe!
Riding the Transmilenio can be very overwhelming, and you might need to take a moment to calm down and get your bearings.
And remember that if you can stand comfortably there's not enough people on the bus.