Buses in Bariloche
Buses in Bariloche Reviews
Buses and Parking in Bariloche Feb 27, 2012
I recently visited Bariloche and was warned ahead about their public bus system and their car parking scheme. Both of them are completely non-tourist friendly, which stroke me as pretty odd for a town that revolves around it.
First, about the short distance buses (colectivos). The only way to pay for the ticket is through a magnetic card or through a prepaid paper ticket bought usually off the bus. Bus drivers do not take cash and do not sell tickets.
You can buy the magnetic card at the long distance bus terminal, or some places downtown, which we were never correctly specified where (authorized shops). This magnetic card can be charged at the terminal, or through an inspector that may randomly get on your bus, or through these authorized shops (some kioscos, for example). This random inspector also sells the prepaid tickets.
As of Feb 2012, the prepaid tickets are worth a fixed price of ARS 6 each, can be used at any colectivo and cover any distance made by it. It is the value of the highest ticket, as if you took the bus route from beginning to end.
As I mentioned, we were warned ahead of this, and arrived at Bariloche with a loaned magnetic card and charged it at the terminal.
But no one at the bus terminal or at the places where we stayed at even mentioned it. So we saw many tourists that had waited 30 minutes or more for the bus to show up be turned away because they had no card and no ticket, and no way to get either in a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, which was horrifying.
What appears to be their normal workaround is to ask a passenger that is already riding the bus to loan their card to the unlucky tourist, and thankfully people help. I asked a girl who loaned her card about it and she said that she usually charged extra money her card because cases like that happen very often, which just made me sad and disappointed.
And second issue on this tip, the parking scheme downtown. As of Feb 2012 it was not working, but they are activating and deactivating it every few months. The general workings of it are hell for tourists.
It applies to the downtown area. You are supposed to have a small metal circle which represents a virtual account where you deposited money. With this thing you check in at a machine set up in corners. Then a van rides by and checks the license plates of all parked cars. If it finds that your car is not checked in, they write you a ticket. It used to be worse, they used to tow your car away, luckily they don't do that anymore. This metal thing can be obtained for tourists at an official dependence, so if you are renting a car remember to ask the dealer for specific instructions regarding the parking restrictions and the area they cover.
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