The Mexico City government got a head start celebrating the bicentennial anniversary (2010) of Mexico’s Independence with the launch of a new fleet of buses serving Paseo de la Reforma, the thoroughfare that runs right through the capital’s main tourist areas. The 173 new buses replace more than 300 old buses, most of them the green and white shuttle buses called micros, which have been sent to the scrapyard (where most belong).
The buses go from La Villa in the far north of the capital to Santa Fe in the west. To mention some attractions, they pass by the Angel of the Independence, the Chapultepec Castle, the zoo, the Anthropology Museum, the National Auditorium, many of the city’s plushest hotels, and the Torre Mayor (the country’s tallest building). There are also a few buses that go to the Zocalo via Juarez Avenue, passing the Fine Arts Palace, the nearby National Museum and other downtown sites.
The “Plus” buses cost 4.50 pesos to ride and the “Executive” buses, of which there are fewer and which make fewer stops along the way, cost 5 pesos.
It might take a while for users to get to know one from the other, and whether the more expensive buses actually stop where they plan to get off. And for those who think they might miss the drivers of the old micros constantly asking travelers to move toward the back of bus, or playing their own choice of radio station, there is nothing to worry about. This occurs even on the executive version during rush hour. The same people who ran the old bus system have been commissioned to run the new one.
At quieter times of the day, when buses run half full or less, the full advantages of the new vehicles can be appreciated: ergonomic seats, large windows (no more stooping to see when your stop’s coming up), good quality lighting, and a clearly visible electronic sign on the front stating the final destination. Other advantages, according to city officials, include a 90% reduction in carbon emissions.
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