Jump to content


Photo

Public Transportation


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 HeidiM

HeidiM

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:06 PM

How is public transportation on the island? Am i crazy to move to the island with my family of five with no car? Crazy or not we're doing it in 48 days but I just thought I'd get some input on the topic. Thanks in advance for your knowledge and expertise!
  • 0

#2 Charles

Charles

    Guru

  • Members
  • 3,143 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:30 AM

A lot depends on where you live, how you plan to live and your budget for monthly expenses. I will NOT suggest you and the three kids riding on one moto. Island style would be you driving, the four year old standing in front of you and the six year old riding in back carrying the baby.

Depending on where you live with regard to the bus routes and riding colectivos, the VW combi vans. You can't live like a tourist, go to tourist places and not budget for significant taxi expenses. The taxistas have won a new rate increase Many people do a lot of walking which could be a challenge with three young daughters. Major grocery shopping would more likely involve a taxi home.

Personally I have no interest in tourist sites. I lived full time on the island for five years before I went to the other side of the island. Having two small children and an infant will be a challenge, but that is the reality for 85% of the families. The local residents have managed well and the whole concept of the present day public transportation is a fairly new development, five or more years ago it was very minimal. I'd rather NOT have the hassle of car ownership. After living on the island for about 12 years full time and then only seven months of the year the last six years, I am the exception, not the rule. Most North Americans and now many Mexicans would feel a car to be a necessity and my opinion is since you have three children, it will be difficult to manage without a vehicle even if maintaining a simplistic lifestyle.

Was your husband planning to work outside the home and how will he travel to work?
  • 0

#3 DebB

DebB

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 449 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cozumel, MX

Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:06 AM

Agree with all that Charles has said. I don't have a large family and sometimes wish that I had a car, especially when it's rainy or really hot or when the cold winds blow. Going to the east side or the southern beaches is akin to a trip to the moon.

However, I know that using alternate transportation costs much, much less than car ownership and, that when I really do need a lift, I can ask friends for assistance and they will help. Besides...walking is good for people...right?!

Marketing by bus, taxi and bicycle is certainly doable but may become a major expedition each time. Often, grocery shopping requires stops at a number of different stores to complete (or nearly complete) the job. You are limited to buying only as much as you can carry and frozen items are a challenge to get home before they defrost. If you live within comfortable walking distance of a supermercado, it would help to own a 2-wheeled shopping cart. Hopefully, you will not need to lug laundry!

With parcels in hand, it's much easier to use the buses than the combis. The buses run reliably during the day. For large items and big grocery hauls, use the taxis to take you home.
  • 0

#4 DanB

DanB

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Interests:Dan:history/culture;scuba diving;photography;music; Claudia:artist

Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:57 AM

[quote name='... easier to use the buses than the combis...

Are there real buses in addition to the collectivos? Or am I misunderstanding the difference between buses and combis? I have access to the "yellow book" info on cozumel that includes the collectivo routes. Is this current?
  • 0

#5 DebB

DebB

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 449 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cozumel, MX

Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:04 AM

Yes, there are buses -- UNIPER, white, no a/c -- and there are vans. Routes are the same, I think.
  • 0

#6 Charles

Charles

    Guru

  • Members
  • 3,143 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:53 AM

oops ... I made a typo that I changed, it is I'd rather NOT have a car. I did have a special long term rental car for 2 1/2 years when our business mandated making five or six trips to muelle Puerta Maya daily, trading places with my wife and picking up and returning our employees. I never anticipated driving 50 miles daily on numerous short trips. I never intended for life in Cozumel to mean 90 minutes daily behind the wheel.

The Yellow map should be accurate. Grand Central is Chedraui and they always have a monitor person in charge that can advise as to routes and times. Some routes on the main streets are very frequent, while others can be on the hour.

Space can be limited in the colectivo combis, best to limit what can be carried on your lap. Last year they had added larger, new "mini bus" type vehicles that I regarded as deluxe. I was long experienced with riding worn out, ready for a museum or graveyard vehicles in other parts of Mexico. Only occasionally would chickens be on board. Once a goat, but he went on top. Amongst the blue blood, upper crust (snob?) element in the community, many in the community wouldn't be caught dead, even seen riding public transport. Many of my Mexican friends were horrified that I would press the flesh with the "lower classes", they were lower income, but had lots of class. There are busy times when the combis can be full, people going to and from work. Often the majority of riders would be mothers with children during the day. You can expect a degree of respect and assistance from fellow mothers who are sharing the same challenges of raising children and managing a household. No better way to learn and be a part of the real community.

For a single adult, with walking involved, it all can be managed quite well on a simple lifestyle. I originally could do most all my shopping by bike, but I gave up riding a bike more than 15 years ago, too much traffic. Before the assorted "super mercados", shopping involved checking the three (now two) government stores for basics, the mercado was essential with a handful of independent fruit/vegetable stores and what couldn't be found elsewhere, then you went to Maxi's. You bought what was available and stocked up when you could on special items. You treated a shopping list like a wish list and you probably didn't want that item anyway that could not be found. We lived without a refrigerator for my first year and I considered that our first luxury item.

See how it goes. Having three children is more than I can imagine, but the majority of the mothers have been there and done that. Having the right attitude and helpful kids can make it all possible. Kids are great for breaking the ice and opening up conversations even with minimal language skills.
  • 0

#7 HeidiM

HeidiM

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:44 AM

My husband will be working from home but I may be putting my 6 yr old in the montesorri school. If that is the case I would like to live as close to that school as possible. It's on 14 north between 20 and 25th. Is that a good area to live in? Is there a market near there?

I am actually very excited to walk everywhere. I love walking and we'll have a double stroller for some tired ninas. We are not too proud to ride on the buses or vans. We will also budget for some taxis when needed. My husband lived in El Salvador for two years so he is very familiar with squishing into a hot van. Cozumel I'm assuming is a few steps up from El Salvador:)

Thank you Charles, Deb, and Dan for all your input so far. I hope that soon I will be paying it forward by helping some "newbies".
  • 0

#8 Eileen

Eileen

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 117 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:11 PM

Charles, it sounds like you lived in Cozumel during the simpler times. Your description of going shopping reminds me of my husband's story of visiting his sister in Cozumel when her kids were small (>30 years ago), and going with his sister to the mercado for some chicken -- he didn't realize that it would have to be caught first, slaughtered in front of him, and stuffed into a sack for the walk home. I think he said he lost 10 pounds on that trip!
  • 0

#9 mstevens

mstevens

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 852 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Hampshire and Cozumel
  • Interests:Diving, Ducatis, Dorkdom

Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:53 PM

Many of my Mexican friends were horrified that I would press the flesh with the "lower classes", they were lower income, but had lots of class.


When I was in school doing an ER surgery rotation, a guy came in after having badly cut his hand with a circular saw doing roofing work. He had a hispanic name and appearance and was in work clothes, pretty sweaty,and covered in sawdust and blood.

The jerk surgery resident asked me, right in front of the patient, if I'd ever done a digital block. When I said I hadn't, he told (but didn't show) me how and left. I looked at the patient, who was eyeing me warily, and said "I'm a 3rd-year medical student and although I haven't done this specific type of local anesthesia before, I'm usually pretty good at that kind of stuff. I'll be quite happy to make the resident come back in and do this if you want." I also explained that these blocks aren't a picnic since a needle goes in through the finger web and fairly deep between the finger bones and that we'd have to do more than one. The guy said to go for it.

After he was numbed up and I started cleaning up his wound we started to chat.

"So, you're a roofer?"
"Nah, it's really more of a hobby."
"What do you do when you're not sawing your hand open, and what's the deal with roofing as a hobby?"
"I'm a personal injury attorney in Houston. I have a half-dozen houses along Broadway that I'm constantly remodeling between cases."

You should have seen how fast that curtain was yanked open and the surgery resident flew back in and tried to take over! The patient just calmly said "I'd prefer the student continue, but I'd certainly like your name for my files."

It's never a good idea to make assumptions based on appearances, including things that may be established fact such as income level or whether someone is riding a bus.
  • 0

#10 mstevens

mstevens

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 852 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Hampshire and Cozumel
  • Interests:Diving, Ducatis, Dorkdom

Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:59 PM

It's on 14 north between 20 and 25th. Is that a good area to live in? Is there a market near there?


That is a pretty nice neighborhood with quite a few expensive ex-pat homes. There's an ISSTE market (that I've never actually been in) at the corner of Calle 14 Norte and Avenida Coldwell (30th), and a new Soriana supermarket on Coldwell at Calle 8 Norte.
  • 0

#11 ccannon707

ccannon707

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 388 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sonoma County, CA

Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:14 PM

I agree with MStevens ... that is a very nice neighborhood (IMHO) in what I call the Quiet North. I stay at a small budget hotel a few blocks away on 10th between 4 & 6 and am familiar with the buses & colectivos near there. They run very frequently on 15 going South (towards Chedraui Mkt) and back the other way (North) on 10. I like to walk in Cozumel, but enjoy using the public transportation system when it suits me - coming home with groceries or dive gear, when I'm late or in a hurry, hot & tired or it's raining (or about to) :) I've taken it to get to friend's houses back in the hood. Sometimes I take it to sight-see around inner & outer San Miguel. It's a great resource in town and the price can't be beat: 7 pesos (about 50 cents). It will not take you to beaches North or South, but I've been told there is a minimal service on Sundays to the East Side Beaches that leaves from somewhere around 65 and Juarez.

Great story in the ER!
  • 0

...Christine

 

I drink to forget, but I eat to remember.... so it all balances out

.· `·. ><((((º> .· `·. <º))))>< ,·. ..· `·. .· `·. <º))))>< .· `·.


#12 DanB

DanB

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Interests:Dan:history/culture;scuba diving;photography;music; Claudia:artist

Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:44 PM

... I stay at a small budget hotel a few blocks away on 10th between 4 & 6 ...


I'm staying at Suites Vima for part of my visit in October. Is that your 'small budget hotel'? If so, how do you like it?
  • 0

#13 ccannon707

ccannon707

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 388 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sonoma County, CA

Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:34 PM

It's my home away from home. The dear family that runs it are not too internet savvy... thus I have not been able to convince them of paying for a domain and server space to put my (free) website design... maybe someday. My upgraded version:


http://student.santa...term/index.html

There are always fixes: I have a nice group foto of the family to add + I realized the beds are 1 king or 2 queens. PM me if you have any particular questions.
  • 0

...Christine

 

I drink to forget, but I eat to remember.... so it all balances out

.· `·. ><((((º> .· `·. <º))))>< ,·. ..· `·. .· `·. <º))))>< .· `·.


#14 DanB

DanB

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Interests:Dan:history/culture;scuba diving;photography;music; Claudia:artist

Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:58 PM

It's my home away from home. The dear family that runs it are not too internet savvy... thus I have not been able to convince them of paying for a domain and server space to put my (free) website design... maybe someday. My upgraded version:


http://student.santa...term/index.html

There are always fixes: I have a nice group foto of the family to add + I realized the beds are 1 king or 2 queens. PM me if you have any particular questions.


Hey! Good to meet the person who kindly put up the website for them. I've had the older (http://student.santa...nnon/index.html) site on my
'cozumel-properties' favorites folder for awhile. Last time I was there 'on the cheap' I stayed at the pink place (Hotel Caribe) on Calle 2 between 20 and 25 but went to visit Suites Vima to check it out for a later trip. Going to try it out this time. I'm coming down oct 3 and some dive buddies of mine are joining me on the 6th. I'll be at the Vima from the 3rd to the 6th - then moving to Palmas Reales (how can you turn down a 4 bedroom/ 4.5 bath luxsury condo on the water for only 600 a week). My email contacts with Cecelia at Suites Vima have been very responsive and in very good english (maybe she uses google translate like I do). Thanks for putting that website up. I also put up a website for a dive shop owner that has become a very good friend over the years - but he is willing to use a low cost hosting service and trades me dives for me paying for the hosting service. I'm looking forward to staying there.
  • 0

#15 Charles

Charles

    Guru

  • Members
  • 3,143 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:25 AM

Heidi, If you are looking for places and areas to rent in, I think you would find it more practical to live in or close to El Centro.Personally I would prefer to live west of 30th avenue, but for colonias east of 30th, Colonia Adolfo L Mateos might be your most practical area to look. These areas generally have more convenient options for transportation, available services and in the event of an natural disasters, efforts made by the government will restore services more quickly.

Contrary to some stated opinions, there are definitely some areas best to try to avoid for a variety of reasons, crime at the top of the list. I have lived for five years at the edge of 10 de abril for almost six years at three different locations. It was getting sketchy over ten years ago and was the only colonia that had multiple, competing gangs.

It may take work and pounding the pavement, networking to find a place that meets your needs. I don't know what budget you have planned on or desire. There is a gross abundance of small one bedroom apartments and then larger places tend to jump way up in price for rent and often expenses. Larger places often have pools which is an additional expense and work. There is a huge difference in electricity costs as you move up in higher consumption brackets. When looking for rentals, it is a common frustration to waste time tracking down places sporting se renta signs. Once contact is finally made, I can't count the times when I have connected, the answer is: oh, that place was rented, but I left the sign up because I also have a dilapidated small place on the opposite side of town, would a slum interest you? Trying to work with Realtors and property managers have their positives and negatives.

Suites Vima: On the tangent topic of Suites Vima, I haven't ever stayed there, but have long recommended it to many people. The prices listed on the website (a major kindness of work) have been significantly lower when quoted, paying in pesos. It is on 10th avenue, one of the busiest streets in downtown. About half the vehicles entering 10th from calle 11 will turn onto Juarez headed east by the church. The next two calles, 2 headed west and 4 going east absorb a combined 90% of the traffic. It is about the most quiet area possible that is so close to all the places in and around the town center. The family operation is extremely friendly and I have only heard the most positive of comments from all their guests. It is a little gem of a downtown, moderately priced lodging.

It is next door to clinica Villanueva and around the corner from Clinica, now Medica San Miguel and numerous quality restaurants within a couple of blocks.
  • 0

#16 CZMDM

CZMDM

    Advanced

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 811 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cozumel Island.

Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:22 AM

That is a pretty nice neighborhood with quite a few expensive ex-pat homes. There's an ISSTE market (that I've never actually been in) at the corner of Calle 14 Norte and Avenida Coldwell (30th), and a new Soriana supermarket on Coldwell at Calle 8 Norte.



Just some info. Of those houses on the North end, there are 4 townhomes and 12 freestanding houses. Of all the full time residents only one is owned by an American. 1 townhome and 3 houses are owned by absentee Americans and the other 2 townhomes and 8 houses are occupied full time and owned by Mexicans.

After reading the 'gringo' thread, I believe there is a huge misperception in the wealth distribution of the island. Local Mexicans own 99% of high end properties.

The Soriana name is new, but the store is old.
  • 0

Cozumel Diving


#17 Charles

Charles

    Guru

  • Members
  • 3,143 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:00 AM

Gosh, they sure looked like ex-pat homes to me. LOL! Rich Mexicans, high end properties, why don't they all live in Corpus Christi, the highly sought after and desired neighborhood also called Gringo Gulch? Most of the lived in houses there are Mexican owned too. There is a lot of old money in Cozumel as before it was discovered by North Americans, the island in part was a vacation satellite of Merida where the wealth of the Yucatan peninsula was concentrated for only the last few centuries.

ISSSTE the "social security system for State workers" ain't what it used to be in terms of inventory. Since they opened their own clinic/hospital, they aren't the cheapest source of brand name prescriptions. That used to be one of my "must check weekly" places as one could never tell what unusual items they might have in stock. When I used to live across the street, I'd shop there often twice daily. They once were great for appliances and especially good for assorted paper goods and cleaners.

Having lived on that end of avenue 15, that was the place for ease and frequency of public transportation. That is a very quiet area and one of zones I feel are more desirable to live in, at least for me. In has a number of newly built homes, but it still boasts a number of almost historic homes that were built when that used to be on the edge of town.

Soriana, originally SuperMaz was the second national chain with a presence on the island. It was bought by Gigante, I don't think the name changed, but the register receipts switched names. Later it became Soriana and then later, it did have an expansion a few years back. I like to shop there for a number of items and it has a loyal clientele of both families and restaurants from their system of "earn points" for gifts and discounts.
  • 0

#18 cvchief

cvchief

    Professional Amateur

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,421 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania mostly, though Coz as much as possible

Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:33 AM

It's never a good idea to make assumptions based on appearances, including things that may be established fact such as income level or whether someone is riding a bus.



Isn't that the truth! Many the time I have had someone walk up to me and say, "You look like a smart guy...."

:P
  • 0

El Jefe

Wishing I was retiring to Cozumel.....

Casa De Jefe


#19 mstevens

mstevens

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 852 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Hampshire and Cozumel
  • Interests:Diving, Ducatis, Dorkdom

Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:55 PM

It's my home away from home. The dear family that runs it are not too internet savvy... thus I have not been able to convince them of paying for a domain and server space to put my (free) website design... maybe someday. My upgraded version:


http://student.santa...term/index.html

There are always fixes: I have a nice group foto of the family to add + I realized the beds are 1 king or 2 queens. PM me if you have any particular questions.


Ten US bucks per year will get you a domain and hosting through Google Sites, and "suitesvima.com" and several other likely domain names are not currently taken.

A site that nice deserves to be seen.
  • 0

#20 DanB

DanB

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Interests:Dan:history/culture;scuba diving;photography;music; Claudia:artist

Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:49 PM

Ten US bucks per year will get you a domain and hosting through Google Sites, and "suitesvima.com" and several other likely domain names are not currently taken.

A site that nice deserves to be seen.

Plus, if you have any type of web stats you can see what kind of traffic your site is getting AND have a very nice email system in addition. I use JUSTHOST which gives me about 4 something per month for a multiyear signup - lots of web stats and google ad credits and stuff. Pancho tells me that he get several new groups of divers each year from the web presence. Also a great email system that forwards anything sent to the 'webmaster' to my standard account. (I wonder if we should move the Suites Vima discussion to its own topic tread, and then do another one for a discussion of web site hosting services.)
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users