What would my life be like if I were (part 3)…

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…A City Bus Driver

I would start my days at 4:30am*

I would drive from one end of the city to another, round trip taking roughly 2 ½ hours*

I would do this round trip 5 or 6 times in one day*

I would obviously have the right of way in all situations – Look at my bus, it’s huge!

I would put my hand out of the window to alert drivers behind me that I want to merge into their lane

I would collect 2 córdobas and 50 cents from each passenger as they come on the bus

I would sort the coins using one of various methods: little wooden boxes, super strong magnets attached to the dash, etc.

I would encourage the passengers to move to the back. (Even when the bus is packed and there are people hanging out of the doors – there’s always room in the back!)

If people aren’t moving back on their own, I would hit the brakes a couple of times suddenly and all the passengers move (fall) to the back.

Sometimes I would start racing with other buses that run either the same or very similar routes as me.

I would get 100 cordobas or $4.16 as a stipend for lunch, but I don’t get a lunch break*

At the end of a 10-12 hour workday, I would take home 300 cordobas or about $12.50 *
*information from a taxi driver who used to drive an urban bus

The Facts:

There are 34 urban bus routes in Managua

The bus routes are not planned out very well. This article states that 22 different routes pass through the “Gancho camino” area of the Mercado Oriental – the biggest market in Central America. Talk about traffic congestion! Also, there are no buses that connect Plaza Inter and Metrocentro – two important malls/meeting places.

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The current government brought in new buses as part of their re-election campaign in 2011.

Many of the old Blue Bird school buses have been transformed into “pelon” bald buses that go into poor neighborhoods, pick up children and drive them to the government amusement park where admission is free.

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The government can also decide to use the city buses whenever they want. They will hire buses to go out into the departments and bring in supporters for political rallies often leaving Managua at a standstill.

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See my previous thoughts on riding buses in Managua here.

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2 Comments on “What would my life be like if I were (part 3)…”

  1. Cassie Says:

    Love this! I actually got reprimanded this morning by a busdriver on the 106. I put my foot in the wrong spot..oops! Luckily a nice Nicaraguan lady stuck up for me and told him that he was being rude. And yes, I agree that there should be a bus between Plaza Inter and Metro Centro!

  2. rachel Says:

    this is so informative!!! I love it!


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