A few observations after two days riding the Metro in Mexico City

Kathryn and I now have six Metro rides under our belts during our first 48 hours here in Mexico City, so I thought I’d share a few observations and photos.

You don’t really need a pass

As tourists, we’ve done just fine without passes. The first two stations where we tried to buy passes had none available. At the second station, we bought ten single-trip tickets, and we’ve been fine.

If we were staying a long time or using other modes of public transit, we might have benefited from the passes, but that has not been our experience so far. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen lots of locals using single-trip tickets too.

Crowded Metro, Mexico City
A somewhat crowded Metro car in Mexico City.

It’s as crowded as you’ve heard

Nothing so far has compared to the crowded cars after the soccer game Saturday evening, when we took the light rail and two Metro trains back to our hotel.

Today though, a Monday, we came back to the hotel around 4 pm, and the peak period was already starting to form. It’s body to body on the platforms and in the cars, so grab something sturdy and brace yourself!

Reserved seating, Metro, Mexico City
Reserved seating is respected on the Metro in Mexico City.

Riders are considerate to less able riders

Kathryn has been walking with a cane this week, and without fail she’s been offered a seat on a crowded train. At first she was too proud to take the seats offered, but after a few stops standing, she reconsidered.

Only once so far have I seen an old lady have to shame a young man for sitting while she was standing, and he gave up his seat without further protest.

(The same woman then lit into me about taking out my phone to take the photo above. I think she was trying to tell me people who hold their phones with one hand get them stolen. Telling her I didn’t speak Spanish only made her more insistent.)

Area for women and young children, Metro, Mexico City
A special area for women and young children at a Metro station in Mexico City.

Women and children get their own cars

The first two cars on every train are reserved for women traveling by themselves or with children under 12. Most platforms are cordoned off with sections for women and children only, and there appears to be a greater police presence there.

While waiting on one of the more crowded platforms, I suggested Kathryn might feel more comfortable riding in the “pink” section. Neither of us was sure she’d get off at the correct station, so she stuck it out with me in gen pop.

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