Yesterday I almost got hit by a bus. I was walking back to my new home around 10 at night, crossing at a small street after purchasing a botella de agua con gas, and a micro (privately owned small bus) came out of nowhere and passed within about a foot of me before speeding on to its next stop.
A micro in Lima
Most cities this large have a decent public transportation system, perhaps a subway of sorts, or at least an organized system of public buses. Lima is a free-market-purist’s dream come true. The public transportation system largely consists of unregulated and unofficial taxis and private microbuses that are decades old, resulting in pretty bad air pollution and traffic. Regulation is largely absent and the system is largely chaotic, though indeed cheap. Since each taxi and microbus is essentially a private business, it’s in the driver’s best interest to drive extremely quickly down the street, trying to pick up as many people as possible. Rules, if any, go unenforced from what I can tell, resulting in pretty crazy traffic. For instance, taxis frequently turn left from a right turn only lane, across 2 lanes of traffic that are clearly going straight.