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collectivo routes


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#1 ljohnson

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 02:09 PM

Hi Friends,

I remember seeing something about this on the old forum, but can't find it in the new one. I'll be off my bike for the next few weeks and will need to take collectivos around town to avoid taxis if possible. I know I can catch a collective in front of chedraui, but from there, where do they go? Anyone got a map of routes and stops? Do I flag one down where ever I see it or do they have stops I have to wait at? Thanks in advance!

Laura
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#2 Carey

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:18 PM

You definitely just flag them down. They come down my street, the 15 in Centro. And I generally see people waiting for them about 10 feet in from a corner on the right side of the road. Don't have a map but if push comes to shove you could hop on one on Calle 11 or Ave 30 and see where it takes you, do the whole circuit, in other words.
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#3 DanB

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 05:30 PM

If I remember correctly, most of them have a brief list of some of the main points along their route printed on the bus/van. And I think there are signs at Chedraui that list the routes and their main stops.
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#4 EcoDeb

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 04:53 AM

My husband and I hopped collectivos in St. Maarten with good results, and don't mind trying it here, but need a bit more info because this time we have our 3-yr-old with us. Do collectivos go by the International Pier? How often, roughly? And what should we expect to pay to get downtown from there? I assume the cost is per person, same for adults as kids? Would you recommend this option to us?
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#5 ljohnson

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:58 AM

No, they do not run by the international pier or even close to there. In general they do not run in many areas where you're likely to see many tourists. They don't run through either hotel zone (north or south) or by any cruise ship piers. They run in residential areas and through "el centro". I take one regularly and seem to be the only "gringa" ever on the collectivo for that route. The guys in front of the collectivo stand at Chedraui are knowledgable about routes, but don't think they speak any English.
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#6 ccannon707

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 01:22 PM

The last few times I've been there I haven't seen the routes posted at Chedraui. But you can always ask any driver if the bus is going where you are going. If it isn't he will tell you what number bus you need to catch. No Spanish? Say your destination like a question and that will get you an answer. Or take a ride and see where you go... you always will end up back at Chedraui.

From an April '08 trip report I posted:

"...Meanwhile, Jay had been scoping out the shrimp at Chedraui and finally bought a kilo along with limes, butter and rolls. But they were out of garlic. I remembered seeing a little vegetable tienda near our place on one of my bus rides, so I walked over and found some there. We cooked it all up and slurped our way thru the whole thing. Yum.

Yes, the bus rides! This trip I discovered the bus and had a blast riding around on them. There are the collectivos – VW buses that kind of cram everybody in and stop very frequently. Although very convenient they are not as wonderful for sightseeing as you have to sort of hunch down to see out. Then there are the larger buses that are on a more regular schedule. They’re bigger, move at a slower pace and are better for sightseeing. Both collectivos and the buses all begin and end up at Chedraui where the various route maps are posted. Maps are also taped on the buses themselves. I understand it’s the taxi union that is running them or involved somehow.

Back story: Besides diving and lounging on the beach I love walking around Cozumel doing errands… bakery, pedicure, book swap, tailor, shoe repair, farmacia, laundry, internet, beer run, food shop, ice cream etc… soaking up the local atmosphere; feeling like I live there. My husband does too, but tires more quickly and eventually starts grumbling about my “forced marches”. So one day while we were walking somewhere a bus going in our direction stopped near us. We took one look and hopped on. 50¢ each. Jay was happy to sit and rest and I was ecstatic participating in local public transit. And to be honest, I can get hot and tired walking around town too.

After a week at our hotel in the north we moved into town for a week at Amigos B&B (7 Sur & 25) and then the buses really came into play. And when I refer to sightseeing I’m not talking about beaches or tourist attractions, but neighborhoods around & outside the centro. There is a heck of a lot of island life going on outside the downtown tourist sphere. We were always the only gringos on the bus, sometimes getting the "are you kidding me" looks from the locals, though never hostile, more amusement. You can always find collectivos or buses going down the one-way streets like 15th, 20th, 25th etc… What I observed was the collectivos will stop at any corner when waved down. When you get on you tell them where you want to get off. They will tell you if they go there or near. I always say where I want to go or “cerca” (near). The bigger buses have regular stops, usually marked with a tall blue sign. Sometimes I would observe a local waiting on a corner. I would inquire and yes, it was the bus they were waiting for, so I would wait too. A good phrase for the bus is “proxima bajo, por favor” (next stop, please). I learned that because I kept hearing local people saying something and got into a lively conversation with some fellow passengers about what was being said.

So keep a few of those loose coins handy for bus fare!
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