Bogota - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

No. Uber, cabify, etc. are safe, but taking a yellow taxi off the street is not. Embassy personnel are also prohibited from taking public transportation (buses). It’s also easy to hire your own driver. Your own car is recommended for weekend travel but beware of the scams where they puncture your tires and then upcharge you to fix your tire. - May 2024

They are not safe. Uber is relatively safe but technically illegal. - Aug 2023

Taxis are safe if you use an app like Cabify, Mi Águila or Uber. We are not allowed to take buses. - Feb 2021

Ubers are safe; yellow street taxis are not. Not sure about buses. No train service available unfortunately. - Jul 2020

Don't take the bus. There are robbery schemes with taxis hailed off the street. The RSO strongly advises that you use an app to call a taxi or ride share. Uber just got halted here. So, we are all scrambling to find a new ride share. Prices are very affordable. - Feb 2020

Embassy personnel are permitted from taking public transportation in Bogota. Taxis are affordable, although we are required to call or request dispatch online, or take them from an authorized taxi line at the airport. Taxi drivers tend to know the city and to navigate better than Uber drivers, but cars are small of often unsafe or uncomfortable. Most people use Uber or other similar services, although there are some problems with Uber's legal status and you often have to sit in the front with Uber drivers. - Nov 2018

Taxis and Ubers are plentiful and cheap. They're safe if you use an app to call them. We aren't allowed to hail them off the street. I'll spend an hour in a taxi and then find that I only spent about $7. Short quick rides are often $2-$3. If you don't like driving, you could easily live here with no car. - Sep 2018

We cannot use the Transmilenio (bus) system, but Uber is here and taxis can be used with an appropriate app. We are advised not to hail them on the street for safety reasons and to avoid price gouging. - Aug 2018

Public transport is crowded and petty crime is common. Government staff are advised to not take buses or hail taxis. Uber is illegal for drivers but okay for passengers to use. Some use smartphone apps to call a legitimate taxi. There is no metro system, so traffic is some of the worst in the world. - May 2018

Uber is safe. We aren't permitted to take the local mass transportation and are told not to hail a taxi off of the street. The price for Uber and taxis are very affordable. - Apr 2016

Yes, very affordable. And Uber is here. - Aug 2015

No. The American Embassy community is prohibited from taking the bus, and there are restrictions related to taxis. - Aug 2014

Not safe, very affordable. I recommend using the apps Tapsi and Uber for taxis. - Jun 2014

Taxis are very affordable and usually clean and friendly. However, they can be nearly impossible to get during busy periods (Friday nights especially) or if it's raining. So don't get too dependent on them, and have a plan B. Buses tend to be super crowded and not very user friendly. - May 2013

Radio taxis are safe and license plates are sent to you via SMS. Transportation is safe. Don't bother with the buses. - Oct 2012

Embassy personnel are not allowed to take buses, but we can take taxis, which are VERY affordable. - Jul 2012

Taxis yes. USG employees are not allowed to use other public transport. - Apr 2012

There's a good public transport network here, which is affordable--but it's off limits to Embassy staff. Taxis are affordable/cheap. - Dec 2011

Taxis are safe and cheap. I didn't use any buses or trains. - Jul 2011

We can't use buses. Taxis are OK, but in the rush hour with rain it is impossible to get one. Really, you can't get one taxi during the rush hour or when it is raining. - Nov 2010

Embassy folk are not allowed to use public transport. There are some taxis we can use. - Sep 2010

Taxis, yes, but we are barred from everything else. - Aug 2010

US Embassy employees cannot take public transportation. Taxis are fine if you call ahead, and they are relatively cheap. - Aug 2010

US Embassy employees are not allowed to take public transportation. It is recommended that if you need a taxi you always call for one ahead of time and do not flag one on the street. Taxis are fairly cheap, but driving your own vehicle is still cheaper. - Aug 2010

We are not allowed to take public transportation, just taxis. And you have to call them. There have been issues with taxis that you take in the street. When it is raining or during rush hour, it is impossible to get a taxi -- really impossible. - Jun 2010

Taxis aren't bad, but try to call one and not to hail one on the streets - they CAN be unsafe. Look for ones that have their fees, and other signs of a legit taxi if you have to hail one. I have taken the buses, but I hate this experience. Drivers drive like maniacs - truly! And people get on board asking for money, prefacing their pleas with 'I am not going to rob you.' - Jan 2010

They are available and cheap, but the embassy advises employees and family members against using buses. Taxis are cheap and safe if you use radio dispatched companies. - Sep 2009

Taxis are reasonably priced and safe as long as they're radio dispatched. Never hail one from the street or you're inviting trouble. The tourist train is OK, but buses are prohibited as a form of transport for embassy personnel. - Dec 2008

Government employees and their families are not allowed to take them. - Dec 2008

Not safe at all, and not allowed. - Nov 2008

Relatively safe, but caution is required. - Nov 2008

NOPE! With the taxi's you MUST call from home, restaurant, Embassy etc, the company will tell you the license plate number and a secret code that only you and the driver know. Unfortunately, people have been held against their will or robbed in the taxi and thrown out. So best way is to drive. Taxi's are affordable, gas here not so much. - May 2008

Taxi's are safe if you call them to pick you up. Hailing them is not safe. - Apr 2008

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