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Transportation in Lima

The large majority of drivers in Lima, particularly it seems those that operate taxis and busses, drive fast, selfishly and to be quite honest, recklessly. Driving here is not for the faint-hearted, with a constant “game of chicken” being played as drivers vie for position. It becomes mandatory to develop a style of driving that is both defenses, to protect yourself and your car, while at the same time offensive, if you want to get anywhere.

With 10+ million inhabitants, Lima streets are almost always congested during the week. Monday through Friday, traffic is at it’s heaviest in the morning from 8 am to 11 am and in the afternoon through the evening from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Public transportation in Lima is made of taxis, “traditional” busses, and smaller, combis or micros. These small independently operated buses, which due to the fact that they are very cheap, are ridiculously crowded during peak travel times.

Taxis are often the fastest, and still a relatively cheap way to get from one place to another. When first arriving in Lima it is recommended to use a professional taxi company such as Easy Taxi or Über, as opposed to simply hailing one of the thousands of individually owned and operated taxis. Über and Easy Taxi have free downloadable applications for Android and iPhone.

The Metropolitano is one of Lima’s recently added transportation options. Only a few years old, it is a more efficient bus system with set routes. Some sections of the Metropolitano resemble an urban train system with platform stops. The most visible section of this transportation option runs in the median of the expressway or Vía Expresa.

The electric train, Metro Lima Línea 1 is another recent addition to improve Lima’s transportation woes. An elevated train system with 26 stations linking the city from North to South, and a long extension project about to get underway, it is a crowded, but very modern way to travel to and from select sections of Lima.

Lima’s new Corredor Azul Bus Line is a further attempt to reduce traffic congestion and remove the unsafe, combis and micros from traffic. The results thus far haven’t been convincing.