Connecting Puente Piedra in the north with Villa El Salvador in the south of the city, the Red Line is “El Chino”, the NO01. El Chino is running in light blue buses and it is considered to be the fastest north-south connection along the Panamericana.
El Chino starts in Puente Piedra and is passing through Pro in Los Olivos until reaching the Panamericana Norte. From here it is southbound all the way through Via de Evitamiento and Panamericana Sur until Puente Atocongo. Here El Chino is leaving the Panamericana in order to pass through Villa El Salvador on its way to its end stop at Avenida Lima at the far end of Villa El Salvador on the district limit with Villa Maria.
El Chino is called El Chino, because of its boleto (ticket). Actually the exact way how bus lines get their nickname is a bit mysterious, but sometimes there are reasonable explanations. In the case of El Chino, it is because of the appearance of a Chinese character on its boleto. Boletos are anyway used in creative ways. For example the bus company “Aleluya” prints bible verses on its boletos.
Allegedly El Chino was the first to put their drivers and cobradores in uniform. They were the first to start renovating their fleet. And they were also the first to raise their prices above the bare minimum. Even today situations occur where people are not willing to pay S./ 1.50 and the cobrador tells the driver to stop in the middle of the Panamericana highway with no stop in sight to let off a passenger. They do not accept people paying less, like some other lines do. No, they really throw you out. Of course, this is how it should be, but unfortunately in many combis you will be able to witness shouting matches between cobrador and passenger, where eventually the passenger wins. No such chance in El Chino, they have strict policies.
That said, competition has increased. There are now dark blue, red and green buses of various companies that are running practically the same line. This has no doubt increased pressure, but until now El Chino is staying the course. Because the others are essentially copycats and because El Chino still enjoys first-mover advantage, I recommend their light blue buses and on the map this is the red Ruta Recomendable.
The complete route of the NO01 Puente Piedra-Villa El Salvador “El Chino” is:
- PUENTE PIEDRA (starting point)
- Los Proceres
- Panamericana Norte
- Via de Evitamiento
- Panamericana Sur
- Puente Atocongo
- Los Heroes (Pachacutec)
- Separadora Industrial
- 1 de Mayo
- Separadora Industrial
- Maria Reiche
- AVENIDA LIMA (final stop)