No More Self-Reliance


Puebla, the city where I live, is a large city with a population of around 2.5 million. Many of the people living here need to get to work or school each day. Luckily, a network of bus and combi routes allows people to make their way across the city for a low cost, albeit slowly.

How do people get around?:

The roads here are filled with cars, buses and combis. People who can afford cars and gas drive themselves around, but the majority of the population travels around the city on buses and combis. Each route is run by a private company, and a trip will cost you six pesos, or 30 cents. 

Buses can carry lots of people at one time, and they get very crowded during rush hour! Sometimes every seat will be full with an additional 20 people standing in the aisle. All sorts of people ride buses, from workers commuting to their jobs to mothers taking their small children to preschool. Sometimes, people come on the buses to beg for money. The bus drivers let them on for free. They will sing a song, tell a story or sell candy for a few minutes and ask for tips before they get off at the next stop.

Combis are smaller than buses and they hold fewer people, so they run more frequently. In my experience, though, that doesn't mean they don't get crowded! A combi is a converted 15-passenger Combi Volkswagen van with room for about 12 seated passengers, plus standing room.