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Taking A Colectivo In Mexico

colectivos like this one exist everywhere in mexico

Colectivos (kohl-ect-eevo) are great, low-cost alternatives to using a Taxi or getting an Uber in and around town. Colectivos are also known as peseros or combis. (peh-seh-ro or comb-bee). They are usually privately owned and, therefore, might not have a strict schedule.

A colectivo is typically a large van or small bus that takes a crowd of people in a local community from one part of town to the next. They often make a few stops throughout their journey and will usually pack as many people in them as possible. If you aren’t in a hurry and don’t mind waiting for the colectivo to stop a few times along the way, then this is a great alternative to a taxi ride.

The advantage of a colectivo is they usually run in one direction but can drop you off anywhere along that way. COLECTIVOS USUALLY HAVE THEIR DESTINATIONS WRITTEN ON THEIR WINDSHIELDS. Ensure you let the driver know your destination and pay attention along the way, so you don’t miss your stop.

They are cash only, and their prices can range between $30-$50 pesos per trip. ($2-$2.50 USD)

this is a pesero in mexico city

To get on a colectivo in a city, look out for a white or colored van with the words “Colectivo” or “Microbus” on it and flag it down. You can usually find a few in the parking lot of a busy grocery store like Soriana or Chedraui. If it is full, it won’t stop. Otherwise, they will stop for you, so have your change ready.

On the highway, you need to be visible to oncoming traffic. Get as close as you can to the edge of the road and when you see a colectivo, wave it down. Let them know where you are headed and pay your fee. Simple!

When you are riding in a colectivo, it’s not uncommon to give up your seat if an elder, or pregnant woman is standing. It’s the courteous thing to do, especially for men. It’s also important to keep a close eye on your belongings because petty theft is not uncommon on these buses.

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

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Comments

  1. Jerry Chaffee says

    Sounds like something I would be interested in using rather than taxis. Do the drivers speak English?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Jerry!
      It’s definitely a great alternative to using Taxis. I don’t think you’ll have much luck with the drivers of a colectivo speaking English. You might get lucky every now and then but I wouldn’t say that they generally all speak English. In fact, I would say you’ll have better luck finding a passenger who speaks English and can help you translate if you need it.

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