It has been a busy six months since we moved to Vallarta and we are impressed with the public transportation options available.
There is an extensive network of bus routes, with all of them seeming to run thru the Downtown-Malecon-Old-Town areas. A trip to Puerto Vallarta is not complete without at least one bus ride.
I have found the city cabs great if traveling from or to Old Town, the Hotel Zone, or the airport. Where cabs seem to fail is if you want to go somewhere that is not in a straight line thru the tourist zone. Very few cabs use GPS.
I was subjected to a late night incident, where, after agreeing upon a price, the cab driver demanded more money when we were half-way home. I tried negotiating, but, upon arrival at our house, he threatened to call the police. Not wanting an incident at two AM, I paid the extra money. I had read about this scam on Facebook. I recorded the drivers Sito (station), car, and plate number.
At this point I made the decision to buy a Smartphone and use Uber. No cab was ever going to take advantage of me again; with Uber, you have proof of the transaction cost – with a cab, not so much.
Next, the pleasant Uber surprises. Before pick up, you know the drivers’ name, type of car and plate number. Your ride is monitored on GPS; you can send a link to loved ones who can track your progress. Walking in the house after paying, (in Vallarta you can use cash or credit to pay) you have an email waiting, asking how your ride was. No more posts on FB trying to track down the unknown cab you might have left your belongings in.
My wife usually mentions how clean the Uber vehicles smell. Not saying the cabs are dirty, but Uber vehicles are newer, nicer, and they use their GPS to transport you to your destination.
After my first month using Uber, I received an email summary of my trips. Now I can remember where some of my money has gone as most trips involved music and refreshments! Uber is also cheaper than a cab, the irony being, by the time I tip the Uber driver; I have paid as much or more than I would have paid for a cab in the first place.
One important thing to note is Uber is allowed to drop off at the airport but cannot pick you up. Many ride services and taxis are available, but, due to regulations, they are expensive. I saved 250 pesos by using the overpass and grabbing a cab across the street from the airport. Some cabs and Ubers will pick you up without crossing over but occasionally are harassed by the Transit police. You can catch a bus heading into town outside the airport and a bus north across the highway via the overpass.
It would be nice if enterprising porters were available to carry bags across the overpass, I would be happy to pay fifty pesos to have my bags pulled up, over, and down in order to save on over-priced airport fees.
Unverified by my wife or I, but there is a highly recommended Taco stand located where you catch the affordable cabs and buses across the highway.
Welcome to Mexico!
One final transportation option; friends with big hearts and cars!
Busing the Bay
DATE \@ “M/d/yyyy” 10/15/2018 at TIME \@ “h:mm:ss am/pm” 10:35:02 PM Page PAGE 2 of NUMPAGES 2
FILENAME Busing the Bay Vallarta Transportation Options