Puerto Rico is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean, and getting around in the densely populated urban areas can be tricky and time-consuming for drivers who are unfamiliar with the finer aspects of maneuvering in unfamiliar traffic. This makes buses an ideal choice for travelers who want to spend the day enjoying the hotels, shopping, sights, and attractions of a region.
Many buses serve several tourist areas of Puerto Rico. In the posh Isla Verde area, free trolleys grant visitors access to the clubs, shops, and hotels. These trolleys run from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m., generally about 15 minutes apart.
Brightly colored signs marked "parada" denote Metropolitan Bus Authority stops in the San Juan area, where service is reliable and frequent. Fares on these buses range from $0.25(USD) to $0.50(USD) depending on the route. Routes outside of San Juan are available, but ill-advised as the schedules are somewhat difficult to interpret and the connections can be slow. For more information on routes and stops, contact the Bus Authority at 787-767-7979.
Públicos, or public cars, are another unique choice for getting around the island of Puerto Rico. A cross between taxis and buses, públicos are privately owned vans designed to take travelers into hard-to-reach urban areas. A one-way trip from San Juan to Ponce runs about $10(USD), making públicos less expensive than taxis and a great way to meet locals. One drawback is that they tend to make frequent stops, so they are not the most time-efficient mode of transportation, but if you're not in a big hurry, the price and experience can more than make up for this inconvenience.
The following chart outlines the major público lines, their contact information, and their routes. All originate from San Juan.
|Company||Service To||Telephone Number
||Rio Piedras, Aguadilla, Aguada, Moca, Isabele, and other destinations||787-765-7733|
|Choferes Unidos de Ponce||Ponce and other destinations||787-764-0540|
|Línea Boricúa||Lares, Ponce, Jayuya, Utado, San Sebastian and other destinations||787-765-1908|
|Líneas Caborrojena||Cabo Rojo, San Germán, and other destinations||787-723-9155|
|Línea Sultana||Mayagüez and other destinations||787-765-9377|
|Terminal de Transportación Pública||Fajardo and other destinations||787-250-0717|
|Route||Beginning||Stops Along the Route||End|
|Route C45 to Loiza||Iturregui Bus Terminal||Isla Verde Bus Terminal, Piones Bus Stop||Loiza Bus Stop|
|Route C53 to Isla Verde||San Juan Bus Terminal||San Juan Bautista Bus Stop, Art Museum Bus Stop, Parque Barbosa Bus Stop, Hotel Zone Bus Stop||Isla Verde Bus Terminal|
|Route M3 to the Train Station||San Juan Bus Terminal||San Juan Bautista Bus Stop||Sagrado Corazon Bus Stop|
Any of the bus options will be helpful for vacationers interested in meeting locals or those who are hoping to explore as much of the area as possible on a budget. The bus system in Puerto Rico is almost universally described as one of the best in the Caribbean, and patrons will have no problem getting to any of the island's gorgeous sights.
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