Riding the bus in Ecuador is a little different than in the United States. For one thing, you flag the bus down wherever you are on the street and you don’t pay as you get on.
Normally, a woman or a man will come down the aisle a little later after you sit down and ask you where you are going to, your final destination. They will then charge you accordingly. It’s $1.00 per hour of travel all around Ecuador. And if you are age 65 or older, you get to ride for 50% off. The minimum fare to get on even if you are only going a block is $.35.
There are bus station Terminals in every larger city or town and they are the hubs for going wherever you want to go. Normally you find the kiosk window with the city or town that you are traveling to and then pay at that window. But if you are running late, you can just run on to the bus and they will have you pay on board.
For longer trips there is assigned seating like on an airplane. So you will want to look at your ticket to find the number of your seat and the look over the bus seats to find your seat. People who come to get their tickets first, get the best seats in front.
For longer trips, they will often show a movie at the front of the bus. If you want to be able to hear, you will want to sit towards the front which means getting your seat as early as possible. But remember, most all the movies are all dubbed in Spanish.
Getting off the bus can be a little tricky. You will tell the bus driver when you get on and a little later to the person taking your bus money where you are going and where you are getting off but a lot of the time, they forget.This means that you have to be up front as the bus is moving to let them know you want to get off at the next stop. This also means balancing at the door so you don’t fall out.
All in all riding the bus is a pleasant experience. You can always grab a snack before you get on or from people who periodically board the bus selling various snacks to eat.
So don’t be afraid to ride the bus here in Ecuador! It’s the main way people get around here. I’ve had many nice conversations with people along the way and I would recommend bus travel in Ecuador to anyone!
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