Public Transport in Mexico City

An overview of the different types of public transport available for getting around Mexico City...

The public transport network in Mexico City is comprehensive and continually growing. It is also relatively inexpensive.

The Mexico City transport network includes the following:

  • Metro (12 lines)
  • Buses - including trolleybuses (8 lines), Metrobús (5 lines), microbuses (micros) and passenger vans (colectivos)
  • Suburban railway (1 line)
  • Light railway (1 line)
  • Taxis
  • Bike share
  • Car share
  • Scooter share

There is no intercity or commuter passenger rail network in Mexico; the only passenger trains in the city are the lines of the suburban railway (tren suburbano) and the light railway (tren ligero).

The system works adequately most of the time; however, given the number of people that depend on public transport in Mexico City, any failure due to power cuts in the metro, flooding in the streets, road works or accidents leads to paralysis of the network and major problems for commuters.

The Metro, Metrobús, trolleybus, Ecobici (shared bicycle program) and main bus services in the city (RTP) are run by the Mexico City government. Microbuses and colectivos tend to operate by private companies. Security is a high priority for the Mexico City Government, and there is a strong security presence (either police or private) on the Metro and Metrobús systems and on suburban trains.

The system is integrated in the sense that the city’s main bus stations and many metro stations act as hubs where other forms of transport buses, microbuses and colectivos – are available to take passengers to other parts of the city, usually in the locality (although some buses and micros do operate over a longer distance). Published routes for all services are available on the Internet (although there are no timetables). The city government also operates a useful website to plan a journey in Mexico City. Although in Spanish, it is relatively easy to understand and use.

The public transport network in the city is steadily expanding and improving. The colectivos are gradually being replaced by standard bus and microbus services, and older vehicles of all types continue to be replaced by new or newer vehicles, which are less polluting and more comfortable.

Bike-share (Bike-hire)

The number of Ecobici stations continues to increase, and many roads in the city now have bicycle lanes.

  • For more information on the government-owned bike-sharing program, see the page on Ecobici

Car-share (Short-term car hire)

Carrot Car is a privately-owned car-sharing program that operates in various locations throughout Mexico City. Registered drivers are able to ‘borrow’ cars from parking points (stations) for fixed periods of time and must return the car to the same station. The exception to this is a one-way option that is available from Santa Fe.

The majority of existing Carrot stations are found in Polanco, Condesa, Roma, and south along Insurgentes Sur towards the UNAM. Stations are also located in Puebla and Monterrey at the university campuses.

Scooter Share

This relatively new program allows users to borrow electric scooters. During the first phase, stations are clustered around Condesa, Polanco, Cuauhtémoc and Centro, but more stations are planned.