While we were in Quito, we took Metrobuses everywhere. The MetrobusQ system is easy to navigate, since it’s an official city system and not a collection of collectivos. It’s also fast because buses have their own dedicated lane on most streets, freeing them from the usual traffic snarls in rush hour. And it’s cheap–while a taxi costs $2.00 to cover a few kilometers, the bus costs $0.25 per ride regardless of distance (as of December 2016). Since the Metrobus system is so awesome, below are 3 tips to help you get started using it:
- Quito’s Metrobus lines are on Google Maps: This makes trip planning on the metro system super easy. Just go to Google Maps and type in your destination, then select the public transportation option.
- The official bus lines mostly travel north or south: Quito is a narrow city that stretches north(ish) and south(ish) because it’s situated between mountains. Bus lines primarily travel on major streets along this long north-south axis. This means it can be difficult to head east or west using the Metrobus. You’re better off walking or catching a cab in these cases, unless you can figure out the less formal bus routes.
- Riding a bus across the city takes 2 hours: A route from the southernmost stop for buses (Terminal Terrestre Quitumbe) to the northernmost stop (Terminal Terrestre Carcelén) takes 2 hours, while riding a bus from the Mariscal Sucre/Plaza Foch area to either of these places takes about 1 hour.