Mexico City Is Dangerous? Transportation Checklist For Moving Around Safely

Are you planning to visit Mexico City but not sure about how to move around this city safely?
How dangerous is Mexico City?
Which are the options for transportation in Mexico City?
Which are the cheaper, the easiest to use, and the ones to travel more like a local?

Keep reading this article and live the safest and most amazing experience in Mexico City!


Antonio Martinez

If you are looking for tips for moving around in Mexico City safely, here are some ways of transportation tips that may help you out on your mission:

If you are ready to learn how to move like a pro in Mexico City, let’s start with your training to become an expert in the transportation of this enormous city!

Why Travel to Mexico City?

Mexico City is currently one of the largest population centers in the world. Officially, the city has a population of around 9 million, while the whole Metropolitan Area reaches more than 21 million.

Over the years, the metropolis has become so huge that it can easily overwhelm an unprepared visitor. But don’t worry – here is our simple guide on how to move efficiently and safely in huge but still incredibly beautiful Mexico City. This city enchants everyone who wants to explore a destination full of tradition, gastronomy, and culture.

But how dangerous is Mexico City? There are lots of prejudices around Mexico City. Nevertheless, we are going to share always the best with you to make you feel comfortable, safe, and most of all, extremely satisfied with your adventure. Perhaps you will change your mind completely if you think Mexico City is dangerous after this.

private guide mexico city
Mexico City tour

1. Metro

Metro (subway) is one of the most effective ways to get around Mexico City, especially for long distances. This is due to the fact, that unlike other transport (buses, trolleybuses, taxis) it is not affected by the traffic that is so common in this place. Moreover, owing to ubiquitous cameras and police at each station, it is also the safest means of public transportation. Its main components are railway trains moving mainly underground. The system includes 12 lines connecting the main areas of the city.

You should use the metro carefully because pickpockets are constantly working there. In conclusion, despite its aesthetic imperfection, the metro is perfect for getting around the city. In the daytime, the main highways constantly suffer from traffic jams, and the metro will be much faster than a taxi.

Metro operation hours:

  • Monday to Friday – from 5:00 to 00:00;
  • Saturday – 6:00 to 00:00;
  • Sunday and public holidays -7:00 to 00:00. 
  • Ticket price – 5 pesos
subway mexico city
Mexico City’s Subway

2. Metrobus

The Metrobus appeared in 2006. Traffic is carried out via a bus line along Insurgentes Avenue – a boulevard about 70 km long. Similarly to the Metro, in Metrobus, 6 lines cover 120 km around the city, and you can also commute between lines with only one ticket. If you’re not in a hurry and want to enjoy the urban landscape, this is the best option for you. If you are not sure about using the subway (metro) and still think Mexico City is dangerous, you can first try the Metrobus.

All Metrobus buses are tracked in real-time by Mexico City’s police department, and it also has security cameras so you can feel safe by using this transport method. Unlike the Metro, this transport is all around the streets, so the traffic may delay your journey. Mexico City’s administration is implementing a new payment method for Metrobus, so you can access it with your debit or credit card. Actually, in Line 1 -the most important line currently- you can use that payment method by simply putting your credit or debit card on the pay machine.

Metrobus operation hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – from 4:30 to 00:00;
  • Sunday and public holidays – from 5:00 to 00:00. 
  • Ticket price – 6 pesos

Both Metro and Metrobus are the most effective means of transportation around the city. However, during rush hours, those are usually crowded. Therefore, tourists should avoid Mexico City’s metro system from 6:30 to 10:00 and 16:30 to 20:00.

mexico city is dangerous (metrobus)
Photograph by metrobusdela_cdmx (Instagram)

3. Light Train, Trolleybus, and RTP’s Buses

Light Train

Tren Ligero (“Light Rail”) is a continuation of Mexico City’s metro system. It connects the southernmost metro terminal with the Xochimilco district. Its route begins at the Tasqueña terminal, a very famous bus station, and ends in the southern part of the city, in Xochimilco. The distance it covers is about 13 kilometers, and it has 16 stations, one of them being the Estadio Azteca.

Like the Metro, in this light train, there are police officers in each station and of course a security camera system in each unit. Traveling here is also the safest to use in this vast city. Also, if you have a concert ticket at the Estadio Azteca (Azteca Stadium) or just a ticket for a soccer game, the Tren Ligero is the best option for you.

Light train operation hours:

  • Monday to Friday – from 5:00 to 00:00;
  • Saturday – 6:00 to 00:00;
  • Sunday and public holidays -7:00 to 00:00. 
  • Ticket price – 3 pesos
Light Train
Light Train in Mexico City

Trolleybus

Using the bus in central tourist neighborhoods (e.g., Polanco, Reforma, and Roma) generally would not be a problem, but taking it to more remote locations, you may feel a bit doubtful; however, the level of safety in the Trolleybus is also incredible. Each bus has camera systems and assigned bus stops.

There are 9 lines of trolleybus available for you to use at any time. Some of them are useful if you’re looking for Bus Centrals such as Central del Norte (North Bus Central) or Taxqueña, or even if you only want to go to areas further away from the city center. Trolleybus hours and prices vary depending on the line since some travel shorter distances. Despite that, Trolleybus is a safe, cheap, and easy way to move long or short distances in Mexico City.

Trolleybus operation hours:

  • Monday to Sunday: 5:30 – 23:30 (it can vary depending on the line)
  • Ticket price – from 2 pesos to 8 pesos (or more)

The city has a vast network of public and private road transport services between the main areas. Despite being a rather convenient and cheap transport, it is very crowded during rush hours.

mexico city is dangerous (trolleybus)
Trolleybus in Mexico City. Photograph by busojines (Instagram)

Red de Transporte de Pasajeros (RTP)

The Red de Transportes de Pasajeros (Passengers Transport Network in English) is a bus fleet designed to transport all users around the city, but uttermost to zones far away from the city center or to areas where Metro or Metrobus can’t go.

The RTP system has more than 100 lines to travel around the city. You can imagine this as an extension of the Metro since in most subway terminals, you can find an RTP bus stop to reach your destination. And of course, as part of the Metro System, RTP buses have cameras on each bus to guarantee user security. You can click here to see all the available routes.

Actually, most citizens use more than 2 combined ways of transport: RTP and Metro, trolleybus and Metro, etc. RTP buses sometimes have an option for express travel, meaning the bus will only make a few stops to reach the destination faster. Also, some buses are eco-friendly, which is definitely the best option for taking care of the environment. Please note the hours and prices vary depending on the line. For larger distances, the price can increase, as an example an RTP going from Santa Fe to Estadio Azteca (25km) costs $20 pesos.

RTP operation hours:

  • Monday to Sunday: 5:30 – 22:00 (it can vary depending on the line)
  • Ticket price – from 4 pesos to 20 pesos (or more)

To use any of the 5 above-mentioned means of transport, you can pay with cash or use a rechargeable plastic card. You can buy the card from vending machines at Metrobus stops. If you plan to use Mexico City’s metro system quite often, we suggest buying a rechargeable plastic card.

mexico city is dangerous (rtp-map)
RTP Routes in Mexico City

4. Bikes

Currently, bicycles have become increasingly popular in Mexico City. The government actively supports this trend and allocates funds for new bicycle routes. As a result, bike rental services are available, especially in the central districts. Among them, the most widespread are probably Ecobici and Dezba. Ecobici currently has the widest network of bike stations. Dezba, however, operates mostly in the city center.

Mexico City has 170 kilometers of bicycle path, 9000 bikes, and 687 bike stations where you can pick up and drop off one. Ecobici is owned by Mexico City’s government while Dezba is a private company with electric bikes, in both cases, you must own a debit or credit card to use it. To use Ecobici or Dezba, you’ll be required to register with their apps, an official and up-to-date ID, a credit or debit card, and your personal information.

Ecobici operation hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – from 5:00 to 00:30;
  • Rent price: per hour – 50 pesos
  • Rent plan: 1 day – 128 pesos / 3 days – 234 pesos / 7 days – 391 pesos / Annual plan – 521 pesos

Dezba bikes operation hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – from 5:00 to 00:00;
  • Rent price: 2 pesos per minute
mexico city is dangerous
EcoBici bicycles at a docking station

5. Private Transport

Taxi

Most taxis in Mexico City have taximeters and normally represent an pretty affordable form of transport, especially on shorter distances. However, if possible, avoid dealing with unlicensed drivers (normally you can see the license on the back door). Many prejudices surround city transportation, saying that Mexico City is dangerous even for taking taxis.

Nevertheless, before starting your trip, it is also recommended that the driver uses a taximeter. If (s)he doesn’t and you are still OK with that, agree on the price in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you feel that the price is too good to be real, you better refuse the service, find another car, or use a car-hailing service like Uber. In some subway terminals, there are taxi spots (taxis de sitio in Spanish), in which drivers are only meant to pick up from that spot make the trip, and then return, so it’s a safe place to take a ride.

Taxi operation hours:

Monday to Sunday – all-day

Fee price: 

  • During the day – $8.74 pesos start fee, then $1.07 pesos for 250 meters or 45 seconds
  • Night fee – from 23:00 to 6:00 – a 20% additional to the normal fee.
taxi in mexico city
Taxi near a local stand in Mexico City

Uber and DiDi (Car-hauling services)

Currently, Mexico City, like any modern metropolis, has a wide variety of car-hailing services. Those would probably be your best choice regarding comfort, safety, and price. All of them usually are significantly cheaper than taxis (especially for longer distances of over 2 km) and offer the highest level of safety among all the above-mentioned means of transport. Nowadays, there are around 5 competing car-hailing companies in Mexico City. They mostly have similar prices but different numbers of drivers.

From our experience, we would recommend using one of the 3 biggest ones – Uber, Didi, and Indrive. Both have good prices and huge fleets of cars that will arrive quite quickly at your place. Didi usually is a bit cheaper, but Uber offers more tariffs. E.g. Uber Pool allows sharing the price of the ride with another traveler, while Uber XL offers bigger cars for up to 6 passengers. In the case of In Drive, you can change your tariff so the driver can adjust to your demand.

Car-hauling operation hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – all-day.
  • Fee price – it depends on the offer and demand of users in the app.

🗺️Check out our tour: Service of a Private Driver in Mexico City

uber app
Do you still think Mexico City is dangerous? Always try the method of transportation that can make you feel more comfortable.

Bonus: What are Some of the Safest Tips for Traveling in Mexico?

Our tips will give you an awesome experience without any problems. Here are some safety tips for traveling in Mexico:

  • Make some research about the places you want to visit
  • Backup your passport and ID
  • Don’t wander off too far from the main streets
  • Take advantage of the currency conversion rate
  • Check out Mexico City’s Metro System Map below to locate the best route
metro map
Mexico City’s Metro System Map

Conclusion 

So now, after reading this article, you should be able to move around Mexico City safely, efficiently, and totally like a local. Each of the transports that we discussed has its pros and cons and thus should be used based on your needs, situation, and destiny.

From public transportation, our top choice is the metro due to its relative safety, low price, and high speed. In terms of safety and comfort, we would recommend car-hailing services. Sometimes, the quickest and most efficient would be a combination of both.

zona rosa mexico city
Zona Rosa Mexico City

Mexico City is Dangerous? That’s the question that many travelers ask every time they want to visit Mexico City. In fact, many prejudices about this place can frighten anyone, even the inhabitants of the city.

Well, now you know how to move safely to Mexico City. What about your experience of traveling here? Do you still think Mexico City is dangerous? Maybe there is still something we need to add? Or do you have helpful advice that can help our readers? Whatever it is, feel free to write it in the comments!

Mexico City is dangerous? Some brief context

Check out the section Mexico City Tours

Leave a comment

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