A few months ago I posted here some hints about surviving in Lima’s traffic and using public transports in Lima. Now I need to touch the issue again because now Lima has a new and efficient alternative; the new bus system called “El Metropolitano” that is operating since last May despite being still incomplete.
In a city that has not had a decent transports system in too many years, this is a safe, clean, reliable and cheap alternative for both Limenians and visitors.
In order to use these buses you need to buy a rechargeable card, available at almost all the Metropolitano Stations.
You need to have it scanned at the entrance points so the system will deduct the fare, which is only S/1.50 (a little less than US $0.50) for each trip.
However, while using the Metropolitano, you can take as many connections as you need, without paying again unless you leave the stations system.
This bus system runs on a exclusive lane through Lima’s North-South axis, connecting 16 Limenian districts from Chorrillos (South Lima) to Comas (North Lima), and includes two kind of routes:
a) Ruta Troncal (Main Route) that goes from Matellini Station, Chorrillos, to Naranjal Station, Comas,connecting the districts of Chorrillos, Barranco, Miraflores, Surquillo, San Isidro, Lince, La Victoria, Cercado de Lima y Breña, Rímac, San Martín de Porres and Independencia;
b) Rutas Alimentadoras (Feeeder Routes) that connect Matellini and Naranjal stations with other areas more to the north and to the south.
However, odds are that you will only need to use the Main Route, which is very user-friendly.
In addition, in order to help users to get used
to this system, the Municipality of Lima has placed in all the stations people dedicated only to provide help and orientation, and they are easily to spot since they all use yellow vests with a sign that says “ORIENTADOR”.
The system has some little flaws. Small stations do not have toilets, the purchase and refill of the card can take some time, there are never enough Route Maps and it is not very easy to notice if the bus approaching is a Route A or Route B; that’s why the “orientadores” have a small megaphone to announce this. And, of course, the buses can get really crowded during the (in)famous Lima’s “rush hour”.
However, you can know exactly how much time you will spend in the Metropolitano and get to your destination on time, which is a good change in Lima.