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Mexico Transportation

Airlines

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The World Economic Forum (2015) ranked Mexico’s air transport infrastructure quality sixty-ninth out of 144 countries. The country’s largest airport is the Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico (AICM) in Mexico City, which serves over 26 million people a year and is the forty-fifth busiest airport in the world. A new airport for Mexico City is currently under construction and should be completed by 2020. The US$9-billion airport is expected to begin operations with three runways and a passenger capacity of 50 million per year. When fully completed, it will have two terminals and six runways with an annual passenger capacity of 120 million.

Mexico also has an additional 1,724 airports throughout the country, the third highest in the world. AeroMexico, United, US Airways, Delta, Alaska and American have the most flights from the U.S. to Mexico. The country is also served by most major international airlines.

Highways

Mexico’s quality of roads is ranked fifty-second in the world by the World Economic Forum (2015). Major national interstate highway quality is generally good throughout Mexico. The country has made massive investments in its road infrastructure in an effort to connect the country’s main towns and cities with reliable roads. Roads are also good around popular tourist areas but rural-area roads are rougher and are often unpaved. Multi-lane expressways often have narrow lanes and steep shoulders, so drivers unfamiliar with the roads should be cautious.

The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs strongly recommends using toll roads in Mexico rather than free roads, due to the threat of highway assaults. Depending on how far you travel on toll roads, the price will vary. Check road maps for details if you wish to avoid toll roads. Some routes may require you to use toll roads.

As in the United States, drivers drive on the right side of the road. Road signs are in Spanish with distances indicated in kilometers. Speed limits are 110 km/h on major highways and 90 km/h on two lane roads.

Your U.S. driver’s license will be valid in Mexico, but if you decide to get a Mexican driver’s license, you will need to take a written test and a driving test at your local Transito office.

Buses

Bus sign
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Mexico has an extensive bus system. Bus services are divided into three categories: Luxury, first-class and second-class.

Luxury buses are the most expensive, but the most comfortable, fit with television monitors and reclining seats. First-class buses are most commonly used in larger cities and are kept well maintained with basic amenities such as air conditioning. Second-class buses are used in smaller cities, often overcrowded and make frequent stops.

Interstate bus lines serve different geographical areas and connect most cities in Mexico. Depending on distance traveled, bus fares are still relatively inexpensive, compared with the U.S. and other major countries.

Trains

Mexico is planning to revive passenger rail service throughout the country. New intercity rail projects are planned to link Mexico City and Toluca, Mexico City and Querétaro and connect cities on the Mayan Riviera in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Mexico City is served by a metro rail system that includes all municipalities within the state of Mexico. It is the second largest metro system in North America after New York City. Monterrey also has a metro rail system and Guadalajara operates a light rail system.