The chaotic situation of transporting the masses in Peru's capital finally led to plans creating a real public transport system for Lima's citizens. After many delays the new Metropolitano was inaugurated in 2010. Since then gas powered articulated buses circulate on special bus lanes that are partitioned off the normal road, finally giving Lima a mass transit system comparable with the Bus Rapid Transit. Until now only one route is finished. This first route connects Chorrillos in the south via Barranco, Miraflores, San Isidro and Lince with the City Center and further with Independencia and Comas in the north. More routes are in planning, but as usual in Lima and Peru too many people with too many different interests are involved and the inauguration and expansion plans of Lima's Metro with partly similar routes doesn't make the situation easier.
Anyway the Metropolitano is for people being used to riding on a micro a great improvement. Buses are new, clean and comfortable, along the route you find modern platform style bus stops, buses arrive on time and don't have to spend ages in Lima's traffic jams. The travel times are easily cut in half when using the Metropolitano. Additionally all plattforms and buses are accesible for wheelchairs. Only setback: even though every 5 minutes a bus arrives at the bus stop, the vehicles are often packed and that not only during rush hours.
How to use Lima's Metropolitano
Using Lima's Metropolitano bus is really simple. It starts (or ends) in Chorrillos in the south at Matellini Station and runs along Prolongación del Paseo de la República, Av. Escuela Militar, Av. Bolognesi and the Via Expresa del Paseo de la República to Plaza Grau in the city center. Here the route splits into two: one bypasses the city center along Jr. Lampa, the other one follows Av. España to Av. Alfonso Ugarte. Both tracks reunite at Plaza Castilla and continue along Av. Caquete and Av. Tupac Amaru to the last stop at Naranjal Station in Independencia.
You pay for your ride with a rechargeable, electronic card. The so called "tarjeta" can be purchased for S/. 4.50 at vending machines at every station and recharged there as well (make sure you have the right amount for the card and the amount you want to load onto the card in your pocket as the machines don't give change!). At the moment the price for a ride is S/. 1.50 for adults no matter how far you go. Students pay half, but need to apply for a special card at one of the customer service centers at the Matellini or Naranjal Station with their DNI, students ID and a payment slip of the Banco Continental for the card fee.
Buses run daily from 05.30 am to 11.00 pm and arrive at the bus stops about every 5 to 10 minutes. By now two regular services stopping at all bus stops (servicio regular A and B) and one regular service operating only between the center and Barranco at special times (servicio regular C) run along the route. Have a look at the regular routes at this link to get an overview. Additionally there are four express (servicio expreso 1 to 4) and one super express service (servicio super expreso) operating only at special times and days and stopping only at designated bus stops. An overview of the express services can be found under this link.