Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Peruvian Public Transportation

  The “combi,” a common form of pubic transportation in Perú

With so many tourists traveling to Lima, Perú, I've never seen one ride the most common public transportation vehicle, the combi. Combis are vans redesigned on the interior to function as buses transporting people around the city or to nearby towns. Tourists, for the most part, take taxi cabs. I, as a traveler, and not a tourist, do not use a taxi unless it is absolutely necessary. I seldom, if ever, go to tourist attractions. I'm too busy mingling and living among the everyday common people. Being that I speak enough of the language to get by, I'm able to make friends, go out on dates, and develop extended family relationships.

Motorized tricycles are cheaper forms of public transportation 
in smaller towns, like Chincha Alta, Perú (above)

In the smaller towns, like Chincha, where I usually stay when I'm in Perú, the combis do not leave until it is filled, thus making them quite cramped. They do not run on a schedule, and wherever I'm going, I have to allow time for some lateness. They often go off course to pick up passengers before getting back on course and head towards their final destinations and rest stops.

Another cheaper, and more common form of public transportation are found in the smaller towns, like Chincha Alta, where I spend much of my time. They are tricycles with two-seats in the back for passengers. Once I'm in Chicha's business district, I generally take a tricycle where ever I go, as long as I'm not carrying anything too big or heavy from shopping. For example, I often go grocery shopping for the family I stay with in nearby El Carmen, and find it more convenient to catch a cab back. Otherwise, I stick with the combis and tricycles.

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