Transportation of Lima, Peru
Lima is connected to the rest of the country through the Pan-American Highway and the Central Highway. The capital communicates with all the cities of the coast through the Pan-American highway, which runs parallel to the sea; its northern section reaches Tumbes (border with Ecuador), at 1,370 km. away, and the southern section covers 1,291 km. to Tacna (border with Chile). The connection with the cities of the mountains is through the Central Highway and some affirmed penetration routes towards Yauyos, Huancayo, Huacho, Oyón, Huánuco, Canta, La Oroya, Pucallpa, etc.
One of the great current problems of the city of Lima is related to public transport. This situation has led to the construction, by the municipal authorities, of viaducts, bridges, road interchanges, expressways and overpasses as a formula to solve the constant congestion. In addition, Lima is the city that concentrates all the country’s transportation offers, with the exception of the river.
Lima is served by the Jorge Chávez International Airport, located in Callao, the most important terminal in the country in terms of national and international air traffic. Due to the annual movement of passengers, it is currently one of the busiest in Latin America and is the hub of several airlines for South America. The extensions and remodeling carried out in its infrastructure (2008) foresee the extension of its services to serve approximately 10.5 million passengers in the near future, according to the concession company Lima Airport Partners.
Lima also has four other aerodromes such as the Las Palmas Air Base located in the District of Santiago de Surco, exclusively for military use and other landing strips for smaller aircraft in the resorts of Santa María del Mar, San Bartolo and Chilcathat are used mostly for sports.
Regarding cargo transport, the port of El Callao concentrates most of the national maritime transport. Currently, more than 1 million containers are mobilized per year, making it the port with the largest cargo movement on the west coast of South America. Regarding passenger transport, the proximity of the city to Callao allows eventual cruise ships that anchor in it to enjoy the services provided by the city of Lima.
The only bordering country with which Lima is not connected by land is Brazil (a situation that is being overcome with the implementation of the Interoceanic Highway) currently under construction). The routes most used today are those that lead to the cities of Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires (Argentina). Due to its location in the center of the Peruvian coast, Lima is the point of confluence of the main roads of the country. There are three main roads that originate in Lima and that communicate to all of Peru:
- Carretera Panamericana Norte, which originates from the urban layout of the city, connects the northern districts of the city (districts of San Martín de Porres, Independencia, Los Olivos, Comas, Puente Piedra and Ancón) with the northern departments (north of Lima, Ancash, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Piura and Tumbes). From the route of this highway there are several routes of penetration to the other departments of the north of the country.
- Carretera Central, which is born from the urban layout of the city, connects the eastern districts of the city (districts of Ate, Santa Anita, Chaclacayo and Lurigancho) with the departments of the center of the country (departments of Junín,Pasco, Huánuco, Ucayali) . The central highway has several branches of penetration in each of these departments.
- Carretera Panamericana Sur, which originates from the urban layout of the city, connects the southern districts of the city (districts of Surco, San Juan de Miraflores, Villa El Salvador, Lurín, Punta Hermosa and Pucusana, among others) with the southern departments (south of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna). From the route of this highway there are several routes of penetration to the other departments of the south of the country.
The city currently has the Gran Terminal Terrestre de Plaza Norte (privately owned), which allows buses to be taken to the north of the country. There are also private terminals of some transport companies and there are other informal stations such as “Fiori” in the District of San Martín de Porres for routes to the north, “Yerbateros” in the District of Ate-Vitarte for routes downtown. and “Atocongo” in the District of San Juan de Miraflores for the southern routes.
Throughout the city there are more than 450 urban transport routes, which are provided by buses, minibuses and combis. This system is characterized by the lack of renewal of the units and in several cases involves a certain informality of operation, even when the companies have established routes. Rural vans popularly known as “combis” are the typical public transport vehicle for short distances, and although the routes cover almost the entire metropolitan area, the service is deficient in terms of safety and comfort standards.
The Metropolitan is an urban transport system that consists of the implementation of Segregated High Capacity Bus Corridors (COSAC), in the main axes of the city of Lima. It has 9 main corridors that are supplied by the rest of the bus routes. The first corridor (COSAC 1), 33 kilometers long, was the first in operation. Currently, all the stations are finished and some are in the pipeline. This system is similar to the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia or the Transantiago in Santiago de Chile.
There is an urban train system or “Metro” (which considers 7 lines), which will become the fastest mass transport system. Currently the system has only one line, that is, Line 1, which runs a total of 9.2 km in the south of the city (through the districts of Villa El Salvador, Villa María del Triunfo, San Juan de Miraflores, Surco, San Borja, Cercado de Lima and El Agustino), which was inaugurated with all its stations on May 12, 2014. That same year, the construction of Metro Line 2 began.
Finally, the Taxi service in Lima is efficient but unsafe. Due to the large unemployment margins that Peru faced in the eighties and the free import of used cars, there is an oversupply of taxis. Although the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima began several years ago a reorganization of the Metropolitan Taxi Service (SETAME), informal taxis still circulate. Taxis do not have meters, so the amount of the fare is negotiated at the time of taking the service. However, there are numerous private radio taxi companies that provide door-to-door service and offer a reliable and safe service. On the other hand, there are also taxi-remisse companies for services between the international airport and the different luxury hotels that the city has. These vehicles can also be rented for private tourist services and are in great demand by senior executives visiting Lima.