Buses in Mexico

So the very first ‘buses’ post was about buses in Bolivia…. as this was the first country where there was something interesting to say about our bus journeys. Since then, there has been a bus post about each place that we have been. So far so good.. however we have reached the point again where there is nothing much to say about buses… Yes, we don’t have a single photo of a bus in Mexico…

So, why the bus post? Well, it’s tradition now – and there is a little bit to say about buses in Mexico, despite the lack of any photos…

Overall, our experience of bus journeys in Mexico was totally wonderful! They had the best, cleanest, nicest, and most reliable of all the countries visited so far – just a touch better than Brazil – which was the previous holder of the best buses category (sorry Brazil!)

That’s not to say that ALL buses in Mexico are awesome – just the ones that we took! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mexico does actually have a selection of ‘third class’ buses – but they are quite hard to find on the long intercity routes that we were taking. As buses are privatised, each company runs its own buses (the cheaper companies just leave from the street outside their ticket office). Some companies will only do a couple of routes, and some companies will do hundreds of routes. Most companies specialise in a region.

The southeast of Mexico where we did all of our travelling is dominated by one large company called ‘ADO‘. It runs a huge range of classes of bus, and gives them all different brand names – so it took us a while to work out what was going on…

They have THREE different kinds of first class called ‘ADO’, ‘ADO GL’ (Gran Lujo = Great Luxury), and ‘ADO Platino’ (Platinum). The plain old normal ADO first class buses were plenty fancy enough for us – the other classes are ridiculous with armchair seats and your own personal TV and so on….

They also run a bunch of pretty nice second class buses – which are better than most of the buses we have taken on the trip so far! The main difference with these is that you can’t book a seat – it’s first come, first serve and they also allow standing passengers. They also stop more, and so are a bit slower.

Now of course you are expecting that we always took second class buses – because you know that we are hard-core dedicated budget travellers… ๐Ÿ™‚ Well… actually we discovered that if you booked first class bus tickets in advance then they were available at the same price as second class tickets! YES! First class all the way for us! ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a tight schedule in Mexico, and so we knew all our travel dates pretty much in advance – too easy… ๐Ÿ™‚

We took a couple of second class buses (which are named after the regions they are in, even though they are owned by ADO) (eg. SUR, Volcanes, Omnibus Cristobal Colรณn (OCC), and Autobuses Unidos (AU)) – and they were fine and nice – but most of our journeys were by ADO first class.

That’s about all there is to say… the buses left on time, arrived on time, were clean, and had good security. The security is probably the main reason we have no photos – you are not allowed into the controlled bus departure area until it’s ready to go – and then you go through ID checks and a security scan. It felt a bit like an airport – and I always feel a bit wary taking photos in security areas….

So… buses in Mexico… a return to luxury for the first time since Brazil – and a big contrast to Central America…

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