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16 January 2008

View from Bogota - Public Transport

I wish I had explored this earlier.....

I was handicapped by my Spanish Communication skills that I was hesitant to get into a public transport. Typically in India, if you get into a bus, you need to provide the following information.
'Where do you want to go?'
And you have to receive the following information
'What is the charge per ticket?'

Since I did not know enough of Bogota to provide the information and did not know enough of the language to ask and receive the second information, I did not venture out..

Now I know that you dont have to do either, if your objective is just to wander around the city.

In Bogota there is only one rate for a particular bus. Depending on the condition and size of the bus, the rate will vary from 1000 pesos (Rs.20) to 1250 Pesos (Rs.25). This is the only charge whether you are travelling just 1 kilo meter or you are travelling the whole hog. You can imagine how much of a relief it is not to ask the second question in espanol (Pronounced 'Espaneol'). Now you need to know only where you want to go.

That also is easy since Bogota is divided into 'Calle's (Roughly pronounced 'Caje') and 'Carrera's. Every bus will show the calle and carrera that it is going to (Esp. Calle also called Avenue). So if you know that the Indian Restaurant is in Calle 90, you just have to get into the bus which goes there.

So easy, no?

Public transport is frequent and safe in Bogota.

Next time you come to Bogota, get into the public transport on the first day itself. Jump in and explore the city. You don't have to know a word of Espanol..

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