How to Use the Guadalajara Bus System

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The Guadalajara bus system is expansive and comprehensive.
The Guadalajara bus system is expansive and comprehensive. (Image: Kaikoro/iStock/Getty Images)

The expansive Guadalajara bus system is complex and difficult to decipher. But with an up-to-date bus map, the city’s maze-like public transportation network can be decrypted and rendered quite convenient. Guadalajara's population is incessantly growing and its public transportation is striving to keep up; though it may take some getting used to, the comprehensive bus system gets you from A to B.

The Buses

By far, the most difficult part of using Guadalajara’s bus system is demystifying the routes. First off, Guadalajara’s Macrobus is a rapid commuter bus that travels a north-south route on Calzada de Independencia through Guadalajara’s center. Macrobus has a dedicated lane and is convenient if your destination lies on or near its route. Guadalajara also has 178 city bus routes that provide transportation throughout the urban area and to surrounding suburbs and towns. Lastly, the exasperation of tourist attempts to demystify Guadalajara’s bus system has led to the founding of several more luxury bus lines, which transport customers more comfortably on popular routes for roughly double the price of a regular bus ticket.

Which Route?

A large majority of Guadalajara’s bus lines are labeled by a two- or three-digit number and often followed by letters signifying an alternate version of the route. For example, lines 258, 258A, 258B and 258D all converge at the Guadalajara Cathedral via similar routes but have alternate route options. Since most bus lines in Guadalajara converge in the city center, getting there is generally not difficult. However, you will need to pay close attention to bus routes if you are traveling in the direction of the suburbs. You'll be hard pressed to find bus maps to carry with you; however, several online tools are available to map the best route and navigate through the city.

Catching a Bus in Guadalajara

Guadalajara’s bus system exhibits several idiosyncrasies that should be noted to avoid frustration. To catch a bus, you have to wave it down like you would a cab. If you wait idly at the bus stop, you may look uninterested in riding the bus. If a bus is too full, it will pass your stop without acknowledging your wave. Be advised: The latter point is not uncommon during peak hours of commuting.

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