As a denizen of New York City, I am well accustomed to riding everywhere on the metro. I had no problem adjusting to the subway system of CDMX called the metro.
Metro in Mexico
Useful Commuter Apps
Metro and Metrobus
- Much cleaner and newer than NYC subways. I haven’t witnessed anyone littering, but there is always the ubiquitous cleaning people.
- Being newer means that the passage ways are much wider to accommodate the thousands of commuters.
- It cost MX$5 (US$0.25), so it’s much cheaper and more frequent. The wait between trains have been about 2 minutes to about 8 minutes.
- I suggest buying a metro card for MX$10 and fill it up to avail lines to buy paper tokens. Buy the card with 22 rides at MX$ 120 for the first time and refill it for MX$ 99.00 (US$ 4.80).
- You might have to walk farther to find a station (compared to Manhattan).
- During peak commuter hours in the a.m. and p.m., you might have to wait for a couple of trains to go by before you can squeeze in. You will experience Mexico on several levels while riding on the subway. You can imagine this point.
- At several key transfer points, be prepared to walk and walk, like for 10 minutes!
Taxis and Über
In the baggage claim area, either just inside or outside the exit doors at airports in Mexico, there is a line of kiosks with uniform attendants of vying taxi companies. They all charge more or less the same MX$ 230 (more or less) from the airport to somewhere in Mexico City. I usually go to the kiosk that looks like it does not attract many customers based on location, etc. Give your “colonia” and address to get your rate. Pay and follow signs to the gate where the taxis are lined up. This is such an efficient system. Much better than the one line outside the Penn Station! I usually tip the driver around 10% depending on driving , conversation (entertainment level and useful tourist information; you’ll be surprised at what they can tell you about a range of topics), and bags in the trunk.
Uber, Uber, über Alles
This is a love-hate topic because Uber can be convenient getting from my apartment to the airport (ranges from MX$85.00 – 145.00!) and for those difficult commuting days, like at a conference in a new city. The drivers have been pretty good, respectful and service-oriented. In conversation with them, only 2 said that they liked being Uber drivers. The majority feel that they are just making ends meet, or not making much. Search videos on the sad truth from many drivers’ points of view. Yet Uber’s market valuation is in the billions. Is this fair? Should it be fair? Is it the law of supply and demand in its purist form? I try to avoid using this service as much as possible.