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I am planning to spend several days in Bogotá, and want to use the public transport within the city (not across the country).
Note that his question is not about if this is a good idea or not, or what alternatives are available - consider this a given.

After extensive research, there is a lot of contradicting and seemingly obsolete information on the web, most from 2008 - 2015, but I couldn't find anything relevant / useful from this year (2019, that is), or even from 2018. Here is my current understanding from what I found:

  • after arrival at the BOG airport, I must take a green connector bus, which is free. There is no option to buy a TransMilenio card at the airport.
  • using the connector, I will come to a normal bus station
  • most larger bus stations are in the middle of the street, as many buses have dedicated lanes
  • in most bus stations, I can buy a blank/new TransMilenio card for around 5000 COP
  • TransMilenio cards come in blue, green, and red, and depending on the color, have limited validities [according to some sources, this seems obsolete?]
  • I can load the TransMilenio card with money, and then use it to ride buses
  • two people can ride together with one TransMilenio card
  • the waiting lines to buy or load the cards are always 1 - 2 hours at minimum

My question is a) is this all correct, and b) can I pay with credit card, or do I need to have COP cash? What identifies the counter I need to line up on (maybe it's obvious, but I'm rather prepared)? In other words, what is the exact process to get a valid and loaded TransMilenio card?

I would prefer an answer that is reasonably up-to-date and first-hand, so it would be perfect if you were in Bogotá in 2019, or live there - or can cite an official and recent source.

7

I live in Bogota.

Let me start with your statements.

  1. after arrival at the BOG airport, I must take a green connector bus, which is free. There is no option to buy a TransMilenio card at the airport.
  2. using the connector, I will come to a normal bus station
  3. most larger bus stations are in the middle of the street, as many buses have dedicated lanes
  4. in most bus stations, I can buy a blank/new TransMilenio card for around 5000

True all the above.

  1. TransMilenio cards come in blue, green, and red, and depending on the color, have limited validities [according to some sources, this seems obsolete?]

The one that you buy on the station will work anywhere, it was a caos before because of those colors but they are a bit smarter now.

  1. I can load the TransMilenio card with money, and then use it to ride buses

True.

  1. two people can ride together with one TransMilenio card

As soon as you have the money on the card, any number of people could use the same card, you will have to use the card each time a person enters a station

  1. the waiting lines to buy or load the cards are always 1 - 2 hours at minimum

False. Of course if you go to charge your card at rush hours it can be bad, but at a good time it shouldn't be more than 10 minutes, besides, you should charge enough for a few days so you don't have to be doing those lines

About your questions. Can I pay with credit card, or do I need to have COP cash? You have to pay with COP cash.

What identifies the counter I need to line up on (maybe it's obvious, but I'm rather prepared)? Every time you enter a station you will find one or a few counters, they all do the same, just do the line, you have to tell the person how much do you want to charge and you let them know you don't have a card, you can say: "No tengo tarjeta. Quiero una con 50.000 COP, por favor", which means, "I don't have a card. I want one loaded with 50,000 COP, please"

big station, they are called Portales big station, they are called Portales

small station small station

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