Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Taking the bus

by : 

You might think that the topic of “taking the bus” is a weird one to choose for this blog. And you might be right but taking the bus in Latin America is always a fascinating experience.

In the UK, bus journeys are just boring and, more often than not, a necessity. Public transport is often convenient when you live or work in the city centre, as you can avoid traffic jams by whizzing down the bus lanes, and do not have to pay to park the car. At the end of the day, though, taking the bus is just a necessary and tedious part of life: you board the bus, pay the driver and sit down (or find a place to stand). Very boring.

In Latin America, however, bus trips can be very lively.

For a start, intercity buses put on films so that you have entertainment for at least some of the journey. Naturally local transport does not show films but drivers usually switch on the radio and that can be a great way to hear new songs and new styles of music. (Disappointingly there is not much salsa music back home).

Even better than films or music are the sights and sounds on the buses.

Local buses always go to parts of town that you would not otherwise visit. There you see shops that you never knew existed. (My favourite: a shop the size of a small supermarket that sold only eggs). Visitors travelling on buses can see new aspects of a culture from the window seat of the bus.

Passengers’ “luggage” is also interesting. It is not uncommon for a cheerful dog’s head to be poking out of somebody’s bag and for someone else to carry a chicken under their arm.

Once on a bus in Peru, a farmer tied what looked like a dead sheep to the roof. I was quite shocked and even more so when the farmer got off the bus and, on taking the sheep off the roof, it trotted off very happily. On top of the same bus, another passenger had put his chainsaw. The sheep and power tool combination had me very nervous.

There are really many things for visitors to do in Latin America. Taking the bus doesn’t sound like fun but it is much more exciting and unpredictable than any UK bus journey.


Do you have good quality public transport where you live? What are the disadvantages of public transport?


sona's picture
sona 1 June, 2016 - 19:38

Actually,the town where I live is very small,so we don't have public transports. However,in our capital city,Tirana,there are a lot of buses that transports people from one neighbourhood to another. In addition,there are also different kinds of public transports for the whole country. They don't have very good conditions,are old and sometimes very huge,so they move extremely slow by leaving the passengers bored. Public transports have many disadvantages. Firstly,it is not our vehicle so we don't have a control over it,we cannot stop travelling wherever and whenever we want. Secondly,they aren't very fast and there aren't special lines for them here in Albania. Nevertheless,travelling with public transports always gives me good emotions.

0 users have voted.
manuelchanonaa's picture
manuelchanonaa 21 May, 2014 - 03:44

Hello, in our country and in our state there are many vials chiapas difficulties to take public transportation or sometimes thousands of people.

0 users have voted.
learningenglish282's picture
learningenglish282 19 May, 2014 - 03:07

yes, i usually take bus to go to school. I really like our public transport system here, i only have to wait 5' for the next bus and it is also a safe way to travel nowadays. However, because of its convenience, buses are often crowded with lots of people and most of the time they dont have any vacant sits :( that's the only disadvantage I can think of.

0 users have voted.
IGNACIO01's picture
IGNACIO01 13 May, 2014 - 15:40

I am ignacio my opinion on the subject "take the bus" this blog is that here in mexico take bus is something boring here drivers are very inefficient to handle since they do not take the safety of the passengers and bus is something uncomfortable since it may your journey be long and you will be very heavy to go several hours sitting.

0 users have voted.
EDGARZX1397's picture
EDGARZX1397 13 May, 2014 - 15:39

my opinion is, that in mexico the public transport is very por, are unconfortable and the drivers handled blady.

0 users have voted.
EduTov's picture
EduTov 12 May, 2014 - 04:25

Amm... In my opinion, Mexico (my country) it's a big problem because the people is much, other problem is the traffic, ¿really? yes!!! in Mexico the traffic is horrible, and do not forget the heat :( the heat is insupportable, It is a disaster. The sounds of the klaxons, the traffic, the heat, the people, all it is a completely disaster :O I don't know.... I'm prefer the car because the car have a air conditioner :D hahaha.


0 users have voted.
polyrrr's picture
polyrrr 11 May, 2014 - 06:52

I don't like public transport, it's always packed with people. The quality of your trip depends really on your luck, because you can catch new clean bus or old and dirty one. Of course the skills of driver are playing a huge role here.

0 users have voted.
justcricketforme's picture
justcricketforme 11 May, 2014 - 04:18

No but they have built Metro Bus in Lahore and it is under construction in the twin cities. Which is hoped to make the public transportation better.

0 users have voted.
Esdras's picture
Esdras 10 May, 2014 - 21:54

im Esdras my opinion in this blogs is, im from Mexico and is very dangerous travel in bus it´s true about the movies and music but one knows it´s ugly music and my recently i raided in a bus had guns and we treated like a dogs. i don´t know if i explain, i don´t speak english.

0 users have voted.
serap's picture
serap 7 May, 2014 - 19:04

I do not think that they are good enough, I think something should be done to make the transportation better than usual. And the disadvantages of public transport is having to be in crowd in them, they are really crowded in general!

0 users have voted.
Niluh's picture
Niluh 6 May, 2014 - 16:36

Bus in Latin America sounds a lot like bus in my country, passengers often put their luggage in the top of the bus, but as long as i take a bus i never see a passenger carries a big animal such sheep or chain saw, that's too risky to bring them to the bus.
To be honest, local bus which serves a short trip (usually only in one city) in terrible condition, no air conditioner which makes all the passengers feeling uncomfortable during the trip and the worst thing is a thief! You have to watch out for your belongings, hold your bag properly and the most crucial point don't fall asleep as some passengers often choose to take a rest until they arrive, or you will lose your precious things. I and my mum have been experiencing this bad memory when we take a bus, luckily we were safe while my passenger next to us confessed his phone was lost.

0 users have voted.