Thursday, May 22, 2008

Minibus Transportation

The first, most used, mode of transportation in Lima is the bus, particularly the minibus. Due to Lima’s rapid urban growth in its industrial development, there has been a need to efficiently transport people and goods through out the city. In the government’s attempt to satisfy the need for transportation, they hoped to build a public underground tram. That failed, however, as the federal government and the municipal government could not organize or work fast enough to make decisions to actualize their plan. Therefore, the fastest and most accessible type of transportation was and is the minibus. In 1989 there were 13 large bus companies, 94 firms of small buses, 39 businesses running minibuses, and 7 collective taxis. The rest of the transportation need, 10%, was filled by the private vehicle.

Little has changed now. All these vehicles, versus having a tram that uses less space, has caused grave congestion difficulties. Not only is the traffic bad, but there is also a likability to get into an accident. Not to mention, there is an accumulation of pollution that causes a danger though out the city and inevitably the environment.

When outside of the hotel a group of us were deciding whether or not to go to a store at about 10 o’ clock at night. The supermarket in front of us had closed and the nearest one was about 8 blocks away. Because of the busy schedule we have had through out the day, we were feeling a bit tired. We, however, did not want to flag a cab down and have to pay an overcharged amount just to go down the avenue. The doorman from our hotel began to advice us to get into a minibus because it would be quick and cheap. He told us to tell the man at the door of the bus where we were going and that it would only cost 50 centimos (about 25 cents).

The doormen of the bus hang at the edge of the door and yell out for people to come in when it reaches the curb. He rushes you into the bus, you find whatever seat or just make your way to the back and hold on. As soon as both of your feet are in the bus, they’re off! There are many minibuses running along the stretch along the street. They are competing against each other; they set the rates because they are private companies. They drive very fast and get people in and out as quickly as possible to make a profit. They ignore stop lights many times and drive at high velocities along any type of area whether they are residential or busy avenues, as in this case. I would say they drive about 60 miles an hour in a street that is full of other buses, cars, and people dodging them. In Lima, there is no such thing as pedestrian right of way.

When you reach your destination you pay the doorman and they’re off again as soon as your feet reach the pavement. For the students of UNO, the experience was more adventurous than a roller coaster ride...

By Diana Ariss Rogel


Gigi said...

Wow!! What a difference from the Midwest! Thank you for sharing this video of the bus ride. You can tell who is used to the bus ride and who isn't. One day, I will visit Peru but right now I will experience it through your blogs - thank you for the detailed descriptions. Dr. Gigi Brignoni, UNO Teacher Education and proud member of OLLAS.

Tim Kaldahl, the UNO PR guy said...

Keep the information coming!


Tim Kaldahl
UNO University Relations

Angel said...

... How come Lourdes is not on the bus,..Was she hitchhiking again?...I'm kidding...Que viva Perú, Que viva la raza !!...Angel Freytez.

ocelle said...

Great video! I'm glad you made it in one piece ;.)

cedric said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Minibus Hire said...

Another important aspect that you should ensure is that the company that you finally opt is a reputed and reliable bus company. Also ascertain that they have proper licenses and permits to drive their buses.

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