|  Category: Culture and Curiosities

Transportation system in Peru is a great mystery. How do they find their way in this chaos is still a great unknown.
In Lima there are different means of transport, and so we have: buses, combis, colectivos (private cars that transport individuals), taxis, motor-taxis (half motor-bikes half rickshaws). But the prevailing means of transport in most of the cities is a bus. This concerns also Cusco, where I live. Combis and taxis have conquered streets of this city.
Transportation in Peru
Combi is a very interesting phenomenon. It is a van, which according to residents has enough space for about 24 people with approximately 14 (small!) seats! Just squeeze and problem is solved! Well, at least you get to know each other more Combis are owned by private companies and there are plenty of them. In a combi there is usually one person on board (except for a driver) who manages the car and shouts out loud the route (he or she usually calls the names of the streets with an enormous speed, so you better listen carefully!). When 5 combis come at once and stop at the same “paradero” (bus stop) you get a nice havoc. But everyone knows its way, so there is no problem. The only confused ones are tourists, who gaze with amazement. There are no timetables at the stops, but this was smartly solved. You can always ask the person managing the combi if it passes through a place you want to go to… provided you know some basic Spanish.

As for taxis, sometimes I get an impression that there are more taxis than people. They are literally everywhere! Taxis are more expensive than a combis, but still they´re not that expensive as in European countries. You can say they are relatively cheap, so people use them quite often. When there´s demand, there´s an excess supply for it.

Transportation in Peru

Almost everyone can become a taxi driver, on condition that you have a driving license. But passengers have to be careful with them, as they tend to drive under the influence of alcohol and often try to rip you off. One always has to agree upon a price before getting in the car. Pedestrians have to be aware of the crazy taxi drivers (greetings to my father, who is also taxi driver, as the most important thing for them is to reach their destiny, without taking into account absent-minded tourists or passers by.

This system has been functioning for a long time and it hadn´t collapsed yet. That´s the most important thing. But somehow I sense that it needs regulation. And it´s not only me, though. Peruvians also complain about it, they say the system needs putting it in order. It will not only decrease the amount of casualties but also improve the quality of life in the city.

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One Response

  1. 1
    Alfreda Vredenburgh 

    This is possibly one of the best articles I have come across on this topic. Have you looked into the opposite side of the topic of travel tips? To be candid, I think a decent case could be made either way, but let me know if you have found more articles or sources on the Internet that back up what you are discussing.

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