Practical Life in Quito

Transport in Quito

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Public Transportation

The main means of public transportation in Quito is the bus, which will probably change when the municipality has finished the construction of the metro line running from the north to the south of the city. According to the planning, the metro system should be ready by the end of 2019. Check the official website for more information.

Busses within Quito and to Cumbaya, the nearest valley, cost $ 0.25 USD per ride which has to be paid in cash in the bus.

Besides the regular, blue busses driving different routes in the city, Quito has three express lines going from north to south. These express lines are a lot faster than the regular busses, but are also much busier, which increases the chance of overcrowding and pickpocketing.


Ecuador's train routes serve for tourist purposes, not for transportation. A trip with "Tren Ecuador" creates a fun day with nature and culture, in every part of the country.

Check the official website for more information.


The interprovincial bus lines are well organized, and busses are generally comfortable. To travel by bus from Quito to other main cities, like Guayaquil or Cuenca, costs between $15 USD and $20 USD. Most busses to destinations south from Quito leave from the Quitumbe Terminal in the south of the city.


Within Ecuador, planes are a common why to travel from one part of the country to another. Flights cost between $50 USD and $80 USD one way and take between 30 and 50 minutes directly.
The Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre; UIO) is the busiest airport in Ecuador, and one of the busiest in South America. It is located at about 45 minutes from the city in the village of Tababela. Quito has direct intercontinental connections with Amsterdam, Madrid, Miami, Housten, and Atlanta, among others.

Transport to/from Airport

  • Shuttle: A shuttle bus leaves drives between Parque Bicentenario in the north of the city and the airport (cost $8 USD one way).
  • Bus: The regular bus departs from Rio Coca Terminal in North Quito and costs $1,50 USD.
  • Drive: By car you will be a bit faster than by bus, depending on where are in the city it takes approximately 45 minutes.
  • Taxi: A taxi to the airport costs between $20 USD and $25 USD. From the airport to the city the price is bit higher: $25 USD to $30 USD.


Registered taxis have a yellow color with a registration number on the sides and a (partly) orange license plate. You can stop a taxi on the street or order one through an app, like Easy Taxi.

Regular taxis are obliged to turn on their meter, although at night many taxi drivers refuse this. In that case, make sure to bargain about the price. The minimum price for a taxi drive is $1.50 USD during the day and $1.75 USD in the evening and at night. Depending on the traffic, a ride of ten minutes costs about $3 USD during the day. Tipping a taxi driving is not very common, but you can round up the price.
Other options are Uber and Cabify, which usually are around 10% cheaper than local taxi service providers.

Taxi Companies

Quito and its valleys have a large number of taxi companies and cooperatives. A selection:

  • Coop de Taxis Rojas (Cumbaya)
  • Taxis Cumbaya (Cumbaya)
  • Cooperativa de Taxis Realaudiencia de Quito North Quito)
  • Cooperativa El Batan (Central North Quito)
  • Cooperativa La Merced (Central North Quito)
  • Compania Metro Taxi SA (South Quito)

Car Rental

Renting a car in Ecuador costs between $50 USD and $100 USD, depending on the type of car.

Tourists and temporary residents are allowed to drive with a foreign driver license up to 180 days after their arrival in Ecuador. After that, you have to apply for an Ecuadorian license.

Update 24/01/2019


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