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David Rodwell

Inter City Bus Travel

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I am guessing the local buses run from Joco to SJC to Ajijic to Chapala and perhaps beyond.

Curious to know how far, how often, how early, how late and how much. As a new resident at 70 years old, can I get the Senior Citizen discount and how much is the discoun? Are there specified Bus Stops? Do fares change depending on how far one travels?

I also understand there are large and small buses but I don't know what that means.

My Google search was inconclusive.

Any bus travelers? Thank you in advance.

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Yes, I use the bus to travel around Lakeside. I have traveled from Chapala to Jocotopec, and go in to Guadalajara and back by bus from Chapala. 

You ask for a lot of info at once.

There is no one bus that does it all, all the time. There is no published schedule that I know about.

Some run +/- on the hour or half hour. You learn to budget plenty of time. During school pickup hours, around 12:00-1PM and about 4-5PM, the schedules can become erratic as they are often rerouted to schools for pickuos and won't stop for you.Sometimes they are so crowded you literally cannot get on or fit in.

You can get a bus that goes from Guadalajara's old bus station to Joco. It will be a looong ride, and you will see parts of the area you would not see otherwise. These busses are usually crowded and make a lot of stops.

From Guadalara (GDL) I prefer to take the 1st class Directo bus. It goes to the Chapala bus station with only a few stops. From the Chapala bus station, you can find a bus going to other locales.

I qualify for a senior discount, but do not use it. There are only x number of seats designated for INAPAM users, and if I take a seat that someone in need should have had, I would feel bad. I can afford 58 pesos to get to GDL. I think, with the discount, it's about 30 pesos.

The local bus has 2 types. Literally one is smaller than the other. The bigger, long distance bus cannot navigate the smaller streets in the communities. The bigger, air conditioned one with plush seats that is headed to Joco costs me about 8/10 pesos to go from Chapala to my house in San Antonio. The little bus with hard plastic seats and no AC costs 7-10  pesos and wanders in and out of San Antonio, Ajijic and on through to San Juan Cosala and eventually to Joco.

The fare depends on the distance. 

The little bus sometimes goes through the town, sometimes not. Best to ask. Sometimes there is construction or a fiesta.

There are stops, often with benches or some type of overhanging shelters. None that I know of are marked.

The bus Lakeside is nothing like the bus system in large cities in Europe or Asia. I can't speak to the bus system in the USA or Canada, as I have never ridden a bus there.

I have been here 8 years+ and have yet to master the bus system in GDL. I have often looked at the placard posted inside the window and also asked the driver if a place I wanted to go was on the route. 

It definitely helps to be able to speak to/understand the driver. 

I would not have any worries about getting lost Lakeside. Traveling on a bus within GDL if you do not speak Spanish is another matter.

Hope this helps.

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You can go from Jocotopec, San Juan ,Ajijic to Guadalajara on a directo that does not go via Chapala. After the stop at Black coffee accross fro Walmart, the next sto s Alamo just before Tlaquepaque and then Guadaljara. You can also leave from Chapala if you live in that area.

There are lots of local buses to Guadaljara but they stop a lot in the villages before getting into Guadaljara so I never take. them. You only get a discount if you buy the ticket at the station like Chapala or Ajijic  and it is 50%.

Once in Guadalajar there are lots of buses , taxi and UBER 

The "big buses"  between Chapala and Jocotepec un on the carretera and you just stand at a stop if you can figure out where it is and  wave at the bus you want to take and pay the driver.available.going east in Ajijic they run along Ocampo Constitucion by  They stop on demand..passes La FLorezta and goes back down into San Antonio and so forth.  Going west they run a street or a couple of streets north of Ocampo..

The small buses take the same route but enter the villages.. They go down 2 or 3 street going south  and then follow Ocampo or Constitucion , go back to the carretera by pass la Floresta and then go back down into San Antonio and so on.. Same deal in San Juan , the street change names but it is the same idea..

In Ajijic the bus going west runs one or 2 streets north of Oacampo /Constitucion

The "small " buses are the local (they are not always small and the large ones are more direct...

 

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David,

If you are not in the neighbourhood of any of the "bus stops" just find a spot where bus can pull over and wave . If the bus is not full he will most likely pick you up. (not guaranteed .)  You cannot do that in crowded area as "down town" Ajijic. When we are in the bus we just politely ask driver to stop for us at designated point. They always do. When we lived in Chulavista Norte we waved down the directo bus right at the entrance ..... and asked to drop us right at the entrance in the opposite way. The same when we lived in Villa Lucerna. They stopped for  us at the street we needed to get out or in. Every time.   They do need a spot that they can pull off from the road (at least partially) or otherwise you will be ignored.  Mexican people are very warm and accommodating if you are polite, respectful and not demanding and bossy.

We did not use the bus service for couple of years now as  we bring our car down. And with increasing gringo population it might not work as well as it in the past. I just do not know now. Perhaps someone else can comment in recent terms.

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There are fewer buses on the road in the villages. Many are in for repair and there is no money to repair them. To me, it feels as if there are a LOT more people here now than when I first came back in 2005/6. The buses are crowded and the schedules often undependable. I have no car, so I use the bus or walk. Sometimes I wait 5 minutes, sometimes 30+.

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Yes you are right they are more independable and the traffic is much worst We came in 2001 and there were way les cars than now, more street dogs , cows and horses back then.

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First you do not wave, you hold your arm out slightly upward.  You will never see a Mexican wave unless they are not at a regular stop.  You need to go to the corner of a block on the bus route where you want to go and hold your arm out when you see the bus coming..  Quite often there is already Mexicans waiting.  They also have small overhangs which is a bus stop if there is someone there but you still need to hold your arm out.  You will soon learn where they are.  The fare is so cheap I don't worry about a discount.  Usually around 12 to 14 pesos.  From Chapala to Guadalajara or Jocotepec is more but still very cheap.  When we get on the bus I tell the driver the pueblo I am going to and usually give him 20 pesos and he will give me the change.  There are buzzers on the bus, you simply push one and the driver will let you off at the next place he can stop.  Again usually at the end of a block.  If the bus if full it will not stop to pick you up but they really pack them in so you may be standing in a crowd or you wait on the next bus.  In the morning the buses start on time but they are soon backed up and by the afternoon you may see one bus following another.  If a new bus has Guadalajara posted on the front coming from Jocotepec it does not go to Chapala it turns at the San Antonio mall and goes to Guadalajara direct.  I ride the buses all the time and quite enjoy the people and sight seeing from them.  You will not believe the narrow streets the smaller buses go down.  

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I said wave for lack of better word in English by the way sometimes ther ae foreigners waiting so people waiting is way more inclusive than Mexicans..There are not overhangs everywhere, Where is the overhang in Rancho del Oro or Villa Nova o rmany other places.. 

The last buses from Guadaljara are locals and can really be delayed when it rains..

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The buses will usually stop at the corner of any block.

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For clarification when I say 12 to 14 pesos this is for my wife and myself charge is for 2 people.  My wife is Mexican so I get Mexican price.  Sometimes when I travel alone I get a gringo price which is this much for me alone.  I remember one time a woman traveled from Chapala to San Antonio and griped to me the driver only gave her one peso back from the 10 pesos she gave him.  She was griping about being charged around 45 cents.

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I don't think that I have ever been charged a 'gringo' price for a local bus......

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One or two of the drivers do not appear to like gringo's and I have been charged higher prices.  I give them 20 pesos and they will only give 5 or 6 back.  They probably think I do not know the difference or that I should pay more.  Most of the drivers are very friendly and no problems.  Quite often young people will get up and give us seats.

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Don't the drivers give all passengers tickets with the price from a pad of numbered small paper tickets? One for adults. One half price for all seniors and students with ID like the local short distance busses do elsewhere? All seniors get the 1/2 off price with INAPAM not just a few like on large intercity bus lines.

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You only get a ticket if you buy at one of the bus stations.  When you get on at the stops you give them money and they will give you your change.  Usually everyone knows what the charge will be and gives to the driver.  Seniors with a card and children get a discount.  I notice if its a friend, one of the music players or very poor family the driver only charges a token price if any.  I have seen bus so crowded people had to enter from the back and they would pass the fare up to the driver.  Price is very cheap to us but to many poor people with family it is expensive  Sometimes I will slip the poor children a few pesos.

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You folks are fabulous. I could not have wished for a better collection of information.

I rode the buses in Brazil extensively and always loved the adventure of it all....sometimes packed and sometimes less so!

The key will be: Is there a bus route nearby? Maybe a short walk I bet.

Thank you to all!

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