A good public transportation system is on practically everyone’s Benefits of Living in a Big City list. It may even have a fighting chance for the number one spot. Being able to get where you want to go without having to drive yourself or walk is a huge bonus. As long as you get there alive… cue Jamie’s rankings of the many aspects of the Valparaíso public transportation system, from first to worst!
1: The Metro!
The Metro is an absolute blessing, and I love it! It’s clean, safe, fast, reliable, convenient, and everything you could ask of in a public transportation system. Admittedly, it doesn’t go everywhere in the city, but it does cross 46 km in a little over an hour and runs every 13 mins (every 3-5 mins during rush hour!), so it’s a major win.
These are seriously the coolest. They’re massive outdoor elevators that take you up the mountain, and keep you from having to either a) walk up the entire hill/stairs or b) take the winding road all the way up and waste a lot of time. They take second place for me because I almost never take them.
These are basically ultra-cheap taxis that have a set route and will pick up anyone along the route, and take them where they need to go! Honestly, this is a brilliant idea and I don’t know why we don’t have these at home. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have to ride with strangers, but what a small price to pay for a comfortable, safe ride that costs $1.30 or less!
4: The Trolebus
I’ve never actually taken the trolebus before, but it seems pretty cool? It’s just an old electric cable car system, basically, but it’s extra cheap (about 40 cents) and environmentally friendly so that’s good in my book.
5: The Micro
Oh the Micro. This is what gives this post its title. The Micro is the name for the buses that make up the massive Valparaíso bus system, and it is a WILD ride, in every way. Micro drivers drive like tomorrow may never come, or it seems like it on the narrow, winding, hilly streets of the cerros of Valparaíso. The bus stops are more of a suggestion (you can get on or off the Micro anywhere along the route) and so are the schedules, so you better be paying attention because you have to flag down the bus you want when you see it! Often it’s standing room only, so get ready to hold on tight!
Disclaimer: this list is entirely arbitrary and in no way represents every students’ opinion. One of my friends absolutely loves the Micro and never takes the Metro. To each their own!