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Public Transportation in Cumbaya

Learning how to get around using public transportation in Cumbaya is an important step in adjusting to life in Cumbaya. In this article, we cover the local public transportation options.

Nestled in the valley of Tumbaco, Cumbaya is a charming suburb of Quito, Ecuador, known for its pleasant climate, modern amenities, and a growing community of expatriates. Public transportation in Cumbaya includes a mix of buses and taxis, with the main bus lines being the “Integrado” that connects to Quito and the “Alimentadores” that serve the local routes within the valley. While there is no subway system or extensive rail network, the buses and taxis are complemented by the “Ciclovía” for cyclists and pedestrians. Expats may find that while it is possible to live in Cumbaya without a car, having one can be convenient for more flexibility and for traveling outside of the regular bus routes.


The backbone of public transportation in Cumbaya is the bus system. The “Integrado” bus line is a popular choice for those commuting to and from Quito, with a journey that can take around 30 minutes to an hour depending on traffic. The cost is quite affordable, usually under a dollar, making it an economical option for daily travel. The buses are frequent during peak hours, ensuring that commuters can catch a ride without long waits. Safety on these buses is generally good, though as with any public transportation, it’s wise to keep an eye on personal belongings during busy times.

For local travel within Cumbaya and its surrounding neighborhoods, the “Alimentadores” buses are the go-to option. These feeder buses are smaller and navigate the narrower streets with ease. They connect residents to shopping centers, universities, and parks. The fare is similarly low, and the routes cover most areas of interest within the valley. While the buses are reliable, they may not always adhere to a strict schedule, so some flexibility in travel plans is advisable.


Taxis in Cumbaya offer a more private and direct form of transportation. They are readily available and can be hailed on the street or booked via phone or taxi apps. The rates are reasonable, though higher than buses, and most taxi drivers are familiar with the local and surrounding areas. For expats who might not be comfortable with the bus system or who are traveling late at night, taxis provide a safer alternative. Women traveling alone or families with children often prefer taxis for the added security and convenience.

Anecdotes from expats reveal that building a rapport with a few trusted taxi drivers can enhance the experience, ensuring timely service and fair pricing. Some expats even negotiate regular pickups, such as for school runs or weekly grocery shopping trips, which can be more cost-effective and reliable than flagging down a different taxi each time.

Cycling and Walking

Cumbaya is also quite friendly to cyclists and pedestrians, with the “Ciclovía” offering a dedicated path for non-motorized travel. This is particularly popular on weekends when many locals and expats take to their bikes or go for walks along the route. The path is safe, well-maintained, and provides a scenic way to explore the area while staying active. For those living close to their destinations, walking can be a pleasant and viable option, thanks to the suburb’s pedestrian-friendly design and pleasant weather.

Expats often share stories of leisurely bike rides to local markets or cafes, enjoying the slower pace of life that Cumbaya offers. The “Ciclovía” also hosts events and activities that encourage community engagement and a healthy lifestyle, further enhancing its appeal as a transportation and recreation option.


In conclusion, while public transportation in Cumbaya is not as extensive as in larger cities, it is sufficient for those willing to adapt to the local schedules and routes. Buses and taxis form the crux of the system, complemented by cycling and walking paths. Expats can indeed live comfortably without a car, especially if they reside centrally and plan their travel around the available public transportation options. However, for those seeking greater freedom to explore beyond Cumbaya or for convenience in carrying out daily activities, having a car might be a preferred choice.

Ultimately, the choice of whether to rely on public transportation or to own a car in Cumbaya depends on one’s lifestyle, budget, and preferences. With a little planning and some flexibility, expats can navigate Cumbaya’s public transportation system effectively, enjoying the blend of suburban tranquility and accessibility that this Ecuadorian gem has to offer.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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