Take The Bus, Gus

Beats walking, and is cheaper than Uber. Don’t even think about taking a taxi
BY: FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ

The local public buses in Cabo San Lucas are mostly tired old American school buses painted over in white. They flow in and out of the downtown area with regularity, mostly servicing the working poor. The cost to ride one of these buses is a meager 12 pesos or 60 cents in U.S. currency, although drivers will not accept American coins like quarters, nickels and dimes; but paying with a George Washington is okay, so give them a green back and shine on your change.

One of three bus lines that traverse through town, is one that has ''Walmart Zona Hotel'' written in white on the front and passenger side window. This bus’s route comes down along Leona Vicario from the Soriana Grocery Shopping Center up in the neighborhood called called Lomas del Sol, which started out as a modest squatter camp but has now been “regularized” and enjoys all city services. It’s grown to be huge in just a few years. And everyone living there needs to go somewhere else to work. Since minimum wage here is less than five dollars a day, they arrive to work by bus.

buscat.JPGMany of the buses terminate at the foot of Leona Vicario, in front of the big mall, because barrio people need to get to work downtown. You see buses stacked up there, in driving lanes, kicking their passengers to the curb before hurrying on.

But the happy little former school bus we’re talking about today lurches and rattles along a route one block city side of Cabo Villas, Casa Dorada, and along the horribly pot holed ruin of a street along the Hotel Zone where Pueblo Bonito Rose, Pueblo Bonito Blanco, and Cascadas are located. The bus then makes continues to Villas del Arco and Villa del Palmar and comes back, goes past the soccer field, on its way to the fourlane and the Walmart/Eurpea shopping center. So, this is how you could get from downtown to Walmart. From there, the bus heads back into town and then veers right, up the street just before Squid Roe and back into the barrio. Pretty straight shot from WalMart back home to the barrio, jigity jig.

The other two buses that drop down into town are the public transportation line with "muelle'' scrawled on the front window; which in English means marina. This bus turns west as it enters Lazaro Cardenas Boulevard and treads past Squid Roe, Mandala, Mar de Cortez Hotel and hangs a left turn at Mi Casa, a tough tight turn even for the little school bus that could.

It rattles past the Cabo San Lucas Catholic Church, the stupid looking Cultural Pavillion, the entrance to Pedregal, the Cabo Adventures Dolphin Center, and Finisterra Hotel, making a U-turn at the entrance to Playa Grande-Solmar Resorts. It then heads back along Marina Boulevard thorough downtown, conveniently past Tanga Tanga, then hangs a left back up into the barrio.

The third local bus that comes through downtown via Leona Vicario is the one that has ''Hotel Rui'' painted on the front window. This bus turns left from Leona Vicario and heads out of town along the fourlane highway towards the small over pass bridge at La Ballena, a dangerous intersection, past Esperanza Resort, and just before Hacienda Encantada. This bus drives past the Rui/Santa Fe Hotel, Cabo Fitness, Costco and Home Depot. Yes, look for Hotel Rui to get to Costco.

For anyone staying at either one of these many resorts, jumping on the bus is an inexpensive and quick alternative to going from point A to point B around town. Occasionally, local street musicians will board these buses and strum a few songs on their guitar, pan handling for spare change. Depending on the time of day, these public transportation buses are known to get jam-packed during the morning and late after work hours when hotel employees are on their way to and from their Cabo San Lucas job.

Aside from the Blue Bird school bus model, there is a model that actually has conditioning, which creates a nicer smelling environment for that after work ride. The air conditioned units have a high ceiling and look like nothing anyone has ever seen in the USA or Canada.

The most vital buses for anyone traveling between San Jose and Cabo is the big modern-looking, purple and yellow colored "Desierto'' (Dessert) which cruises along the corridor's four lane highway as far away and directly to the International Airport at a cost of about $5 USD. Taking the bus between San Jose and Cabo costs about $3 US dollars. And while there are only two major bus stops benches for these buses, one next to the post office near McDonald's and across the street from the Pemex gas station, in Mexico, no matter where one is, one only needs to raise their arms and flag the bus down and they will happily slow down and pick you up.

There are other, older, white buses with green and blue trim that are called Suburcabo that drive along the fourlane highway as El Desierto but they are not as nice and they do not offer the comfy air conditioned luxury of the Desierto buses. You’re a Gringo, you’ve already lowered yourself to ride the bus, don’t touch rock bottom by taking the cheaper express.