Lima, the largest and capital city in Peru, has a population of 10 million in 2020.  The growth rate is 1.78%.  According to the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects, it is estimated to have a population of 13 million in 2035.  Current public transportation infrastructure is insufficient to meet the increasing demand, particularly during peak hours.

download (9).jpg

Most common public transportation and issue

There is Metropolitano,  bus rapid transit, serving the city of Lima with a dedicated bus lane. When topping up the Metropolitano card, be sure to print a receipt in case the system has lost of transaction problem so to resolve it. This happens.

Micros (minibus) or combi vans are the most common means of public transportation in Lima and many other cities in Peru.  These privately owned vehicles are not only known for being very cheap and convenient but also for being rather risky because of the quality of vehicles and driving skills.

Extremely dangerous driving skill

download (11)
Combi crash on a street

Microbuses dash dangerously fast, frequently crashing and speeding off before their passengers have got both feet into the vehicle. There being few bus stops, micros and combis pick and drop passengers anywhere along their route although it is prohibited.

Combis are generally crowded, their drivers rocketing around the city while the ticket collector (or cobrador) hangs out the side door shouting out the destinations.

download (13)
Interesting role in the combis: cobrador

Whichever the bus you choose, they’re generally old and not well maintained.  The quality of drivers is the main issue, however, the private owner is always weak on investing money to pursue a better driver’s skills or newer vehicles.

Payment problem

Bus tickets became compulsory.  No transfer tickets are issued, so double fares are often used by people when a micro passing through downtown does not go to the destination needed.  Although with the lack of control of routes nowadays there are many routes that go just about everywhere within the city limits.

Although there are many rideshare services like Uber, Beat, InDriver and Cabify,  there are scams, overcharge and canceled-on problems.  They are easier for non-Spanish speakers, however, public bus is more reliable for the inhabitants to travel for work on a daily basis.

When riding the bus, it’s always best to have a change in hand. It’s not a good idea to give the cobrador large bills.

Business opportunity

Lima is Peru’s economic hub; it generates half of the total GDP and on a daily basis there are 11,236,000 transport journeys from which 82% are made on public transport.  It has a high demand for public transportation in order to meet the 10 million’ needs.

It’s a good chance to deploy an automatic fare collection (AFC) on their micros and combis or even old buses to avoid the double-charge, driver’s fraud, failing of coin change.  It basically collects cash from the general public and uses the money to invest in transportation infrastructure or improving the quality of the buses as minimal.

The writer is a frequency traveler.  For more detail, please visit

Post Author: GCSharing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *