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Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

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Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

We'd like to make a day trip to La Plata by commuter bus.

I understand that we catch buses at the bus station near Retiro train station. Also that we can catch the 129 in Av 9 de Julio. Is there a stop near Obelisco? Directions appreciated.

Most important question How do we pay for tickets?

We have used coin-only ticket machines on local buses for short trips. Can't imagine having enough coins to pay for the much longer trip to La Plata.

We speak no Spanish and have managed so far to communicate with bus drivers by pointing to our destination on a street map or by handing driver a piece of paper with our destination written on it. And smiling a lot as we say "Gracias".

Appreciate your help.

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La Plata
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1. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

I began my day-trip to "La Plata" from the "Estacion Omnibus" in Retiro. For your safety, take a cab from where you are to here. DO NOT WALK from Retiro Train Station NOR FROM Plaza San Martin to this bus station. I say this as someone who walks in BA for 3-8 hours straight every day for weeks. I hate that area -it's ugly, dangerous, empty and on the edge of a slum. Inside, the bus station is fine with respectable washrooms and walkways. It wasn't crowded at all when I was there. It was actually peaceful.

The cab dropped me off at 'Omnibus' close to its door. Indoors, I walked a bit to the kiosks of the many private inter-city bus companies and just asked people "La Plata?" If you see more people at one kiosk that could be a queue to check out because "La Plata" is obviously a popular route as it's a short distance from BA.

Cost in cash in November/11 of a round-trip ticket: 20AR. Very comfortable, peaceful ride of about an hour early morning on a nice bus (although many other visitors cite nearly a 2-hour ride each way.). On purpose, I disembarked in La Plata at "Plaza Italia" which is one stop short of that city's bus station. Doing that put me closer to the sites in the centre of La Plata which was ideal for me.

Very frequent service in both directions. At night, I got off the bus back in BA when it stopped near Corrientes and then walked down this street and found a courtyard restaurant. I enjoyed the contrast between this wild street and the provincial feeling of "La Plata".

-----

I have a question myself and hope that someone can enighten me as to an odd event I experienced. I took a cab to Omnibus at 8am from Recoleta that morning. The cabby knew my destination and agreed to take me to it. We took Libertador eastwards to Plaza San Martin as is correct. At that plaza, she turned left, drove about a block north and stopped the cab at the curb. She told me I could get out here and pointed to the right (west) down the cross street (possibly 'Eduardo Madero') at that corner and alongside a rundown grassy block. She pointed to the many bus stops there but I had no idea which bus left from here, if any, for "La Plata" and the driver could not give me the bus number of one.

I remembered this spot. A few years ago, my husband and I somehow ended up here once. I wouldn't walk here again for any reason. Without speaking Spanish, I had no idea how to tell the driver so.

But perhaps "Omnibus" was close by here? When I asked the driver to show me the building, she pointed vaguely to the northwest where nothing like a bus station was visible. How far away it was I had no idea since my favourite BA map stops one block north of Plaza San Martin. I asked her several times 'Perque no?' ('Why?) she didn't want to drive to Omnibus. She became flustered understandably - we shared no common language. Four or five more times she told me she wouldn't continue to Omnibus. She even got out of the car and walked around it to coax me out before she'd even looked at the meter or asked me for the fare! This puzzled me too.

I wouldn't budge. If worse came to worst, I'd just tell her to drive me to '9 de Juglio' and start over. But I also had only 15 minutes left to buy a ticket for and catch my bus to La Plata.

Things became tense. She said it was impossible for her to drive to Omnibus. She seemed either too afraid to drive the rest of the way to Omnibus or was being pressured or prohibited somehow from going there. ("Was there a protest or strike down the road?", I wondered) She became increasingly nervous and quite dedicated to my not being in the cab.

I pressured her several more times. Eventually she agreed to. Once we reached Omnibus which must have been another 5 minutes' drive, she was in a much better state of mind, relaxed (or relieved??) and was even a little apologetic in her manner. I acknowledged her back and sort of smiled when I got out. No hard feelings. I was where I wanted to be and caught my bus to "La Plata".

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La Plata
La Plata
Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Retiro
Retiro
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Plaza San Martin
Plaza San Martin
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Plaza Italia
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
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2. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

My goodness, sockhopper, you have had the most harrowing, extraordinary adventures in Buenos Aires - it is truly remarkable that you continue to visit here. I am amazed.

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Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Capital Federal District, Argentina
3. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

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4. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

Sockhopper, one possible explanation for your experience with the taxi driver is that "Omnibus" means "bus".

If you kept insisting she take you to "Omnibus" and she drove you to a location where there were many bus stops, she may have been quite unsettled just because you didn't want to leave the cab at what she understood was your intended destination.

I can easily imagine that a taxi driver would not necessarily guess that you wanted to go to "Terminal de Micros (= Omnibus) de Retiro".

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5. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

Vero, thank you. Since saying "Estacion Omnibus en Retiro" rather than "Terminal de Micros, Retiro" may well have confused a cabby, I'll start saying "terminal" rather than "estacion" when referring to a bus station.

When she stopped the car too soon in Retiro and I asked her to show me where the bus station was (and said "yo voy a La Plata ahora"), she responded by pointing into the far distance to the northwest and then shook her head "no" and kept saying she wouldn't drive there. Eventually when she did drive again, she went in that very direction and there was the bus station.

Might it be that some cabbies consider dangerous the drive to that terminal

(at the corner of a numbered street -#10- in Villa 31)? I'm not so sure how reliable or safe taking a cab there is even though everything inside that terminal seemed very safe to me.

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La Plata
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6. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

Marnie,

I find it remarkable that you'd find such an event harrowing despite its having been resolved.

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7. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

No, Sockhopper, if you said either "terminal de Omnibus de Retiro" or "Estacion de micros de Retiro" she should have understood.

But in your original post you said that you asked her to take you to "Omnibus" only.

<<Four or five more times she told me she wouldn't continue to Omnibus.>>

It's said that only a group of taxis are allowed to take passengers at Retiro and Aeroparque, (those one should avoid!) but as far as I know, any taxi can DROP passengers at those terminals.

You've got me there. If it wasn't a misunderstanding due to different languages, I can't imagine a reason for this person's behaviour.

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Retiro
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8. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

Thanks again, Vero. Now I'll feel comfortable telling people they can get a cab to this "Terminal de Omnibus de Retiro" / "Estacion de Micros de Retiro".

You may have hit the nail on the head. She may not have wanted to return empty from that terminal into town. If only I spoke Spanish so that she could have explained that to me, I would have paid her a little more. (Cabbies everywhere have that problem when taking someone to eg. non-busy airports. So they charge a slight premium where I live and we give them a good tip on top. But I've never thought of doing that just to go a bus station on a metred fare. It's a little strange to me that that bus terminal is away from city action.)

BTW, how would one get a cab from that bus terminal back to Plaza San Martin and town if the cabbies waiting outside the terminal are to be avoided because they're cheats?

Do the legit and radio cabs not pick up there? (I don't know because returning from La Plata I got off that bus well before this terminal.)

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Retiro
Retiro
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Plaza San Martin
Plaza San Martin
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La Plata
La Plata
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9. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

The drivers from the Radio Taxi Co. I use (City Tax) tell me the "guys" at either Retiro or Aeroparque don't allow them to wait in line for any passenger, nor pick up their own passengers just outside of the terminal. So, every time I need them I call them and we agree upon a meeting point - usually about a block farther away, and they come to pick me up there.

What I would recommend for tourists would be the following:

- At Retiro: get out of the terminal building, walk about a block away to your right (South) and flag any taxi that is moving (not stopped at any curb) and that has the "Radio Taxi" sign.

- Aeroparque: take a remise. Any company that has a booth next to the baggage claim area.

- Buquebus terminal: it had the reputation of being safer, but there have been some complaints lately about them as well. I don't know which remises (if any) are there. A taxi farther away should be o.k., or take the precaution of asking someone local how much the approx. fare should be, before taking the taxi.

Hope this helps,

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10. Re: Buying bus tickets for Buenos Aires La Plata day trip

You can take the bus to La Plata in the corner of 9 de Julio (cerrito) and Santa Fe a safer location than Retiro. You can buy the tickets directly at the Bus or in a Kiosk a couple of meters from the corner in Santa Fe Ave.

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La Plata
La Plata
Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Santa Fe
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Province of Santa Fe, Argentina
Retiro
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