Getting around Quito

Public transport

The three pillars of Quito's public transport system are the Trolebus, Metrobus and Ecovía electric bus lines, which are run by Empresa Pública Metropolitana de Transporte de Pasajeros de Quito (tel: +593 2 266 5023; With dedicated lanes that are inaccessible to all other transport, they play the same role as trams or underground trains in other cities. All of them cross the city north to south from the airport area to the old town.

A metro system in Quito, stretching the 14 miles (22km) from Quitumbe to El Labrador, is currently under construction and projected to open in 2019.


Registered taxis in Quito are obliged to have meters. They are yellow cabs that come in all shapes and sizes and can be hailed on the street or at taxi ranks around the city. Rides inside the city rarely cost more than $5, usually much less and drivers do not expect tips. To pre-book a taxi try Teletaxi (tel: +593 2 222 2222).

Always check that any taxi is officially licensed, look for a municipality registration number sticker displayed on the windscreen and doors; an orange license plates or the new white plates with an orange strip on the top; and video cameras inside.


Driving in Quito is a challenge because of chaotic traffic and jams. Considering its cheap taxis, and the efficient Trolebus, Metrobus and Ecovía services, hiring a car really isn’t worth the hassle.

Car hire

Car hire firms operating in Quito include Hertz (tel: +593 2281 8410; To hire a car, you must be over 21 (a surcharge may apply to drivers under 25) and hold a valid national or international driving licence. Insurance is required. The Ecuadorian police also recommend the use of a local, temporary driver permit.

Bicycle hire

BiciQuito (tel: +593 2395 2300, in Ecuador; is Quito's public bikeshare scheme, with more than 400 bikes available across the city.

If you are longing for a two-wheeled adventure, head to Biking Dutchman, La Pinta E 731 and Reina Victoria (tel: +593 2 256 8323; It offers a wide range of bicycle excursions to the most beautiful spots of the Ecuadorean Andes.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.