By Mario González-Román Original Print Publication: March, 2008
Mexico City’s subway system is one of its great secrets. It’s cheap, safer than you might think, and can get you places much faster than traffic-clogged streets. The Metro stretches more than 193 kilometers, stops at 175 stations, and over 4.7 million people use it every day during the workweek.
Common Sense Rules
Many guidebooks, including the Guia Roji, publish Mexico City subway maps. If you read Spanish you can also visit the following website for information: www.metro.df.gob.mx/red/index.html
Make sure you know where you are and where you are going, and plan your transfers ahead of time. Getting lost in the subway, especially if you cannot communicate in Spanish, is something to avoid.
As always, don’t call attention to yourself: don’t flash credit cards or cash; beware of pickpockets and possible harassment in crowded situations; and avoid wearing flashy jewelry. Try and dress down when using the Metro, and ladies should refrain from wearing mini skirts or provocative attire. Wear comfortable shoes, especially for transfer stations where you can expect to walk long distances and climb stairs.
Metro riders in a rush can sometimes push their way past you in a rough manner, which may be unpleasant. You should also be careful when entering and departing the subway cars, as the doors close quickly. Your rides will be safest and most enjoyable if you use the Metro on weekends and avoid weekday rush hours.
If you need a taxi when you come out of a station, I suggest that you proceed to the nearest Sitio taxi stand (there is usually one in the vicinity of every station). Another option is to go to a safe place such as a restaurant or hotel and call for a radio taxi. I recommend the city-wide service ServiTaxis; you can reserve by telephone at 5516 6020 or on their website, www.servitaxis.com.mx.
Travelers should remember that the four bus terminals connecting every point in the Mexican Republic are all conveniently located on the Metro, as is Mexico City International Airport.
Cost of Public Transportation
A subway ticket costs $2 (just twenty US cents!). Senior citizens with INSEN identification and handicapped users ride free. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 5 am to midnight; Saturday from 6 am to midnight, and Sunday and holidays from 7 am to midnight.
The Metro provides extremely valuable service to the people of Mexico City; this massive transportation network is a splendid example of speed, safety and quality, and boasts one of the cheapest ticket prices in the world.