Merida, Yucatan — Tourists on ADO have a fancy new place to catch the bus, while a huge modernized terminal in the south is in the works.
The shiny new terminal at Paseo 60, behind the Hyatt Regency on Calle 60 and 35, was inaugurated Friday. It is a block-and-a-half from its old spot at the Fiesta Americana.
In Merida, similar terminals are at Altabrisa and Caucel.
The new station is expected to handle 15,000 passengers a month. For expats and visitors, ADO is commonly used to connect to the Cancun airport, but other routes are longer, linking to Tabasco, Oaxaca or Veracruz. Turibus and an airport taxi service will also be stationed there.
Paseo 60, the twin-tower complex that opened in December, also offers free parking for one hour, restaurants and shops. The previous station did not integrate with the arcade of shops and restaurants at the Fiesta Americana.
South of the main square, big changes are coming to two well-established, busy bus terminals.
On Calle 70 between 69 and 71, Central Camionera de Merida — better known as CAME — is expected to close this year after serving ADO customers and others for 22 years. It is consolidating with the TAME station, a block away, which will be renovated and expanded. The TAME, or the Terminal Única, is the oldest bus station in the city.
The decision to rejuvenate the TAME, which began operations 61 years ago, was also marked by a constant increase in passengers, said manager Eduardo Córdova Balbuena. Since 2014, business has increased between 5 and 8 percent; last year, it shot up 20 percent, he said.
The new three-story TAME will accommodate intermediate, first class and luxury passengers, and will be more tourist friendly.
The remodeling efforts began with municipal and state authorities, as well as the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), all of which approved the 120-million-peso project last year, said Córdova Balbuena.
“What we are looking for is to have a modern and spacious terminal with elements that will make it ecological in terms of saving energy and water,” he said. “There we will combine all the services we have today at the two terminals, both at CAME and at TAME in Mérida, but it will also have a prominent area dedicated to passengers so that they have tourist information.”
The facade will be modern, but within INAH guidelines, since the terminal is in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.
“It’s not a matter of size (the closure of CAME). The old terminal is an important symbol for us, so it was decided there to make investments and remodeling work to integrate all the services in the iconic terminal, which is TAME,” Córdova Balbuena told La Verdad noticias.
More smaller stations, like the ones at Altabrisa and Paseo 60, might be replicated in the east and south of the city, the manager speculated.