Bus Travel

DESTINATIONS morocco bus-travel-59

TRAVEL TIPS

Bus Travel

For cities not served by trains (mainly those in the south), buses are a good alternative. They're relatively frequent, and seats are usually available.

Compagnie de Transports Marocains (CTM), the national bus company, runs trips to most areas in the country and guarantees your seat and luggage service. No-smoking rules are enforced (the exception is the driver who sometimes smokes out his side window). These buses stop occasionally for bathroom and smoking breaks, but be sure to stay near the bus, as they have been known to leave quickly, stranding people without their luggage in unfamiliar places.

Another major bus company, Supratours, is connected to Morocco's national rail service. It offers comfortable service to major cities. Supratours has ticket counters at each train station and allows travelers to extend their trip past places where the train service ends. Departure times are coordinated with the arrival of trains.

There are a number of smaller bus companies, called "souk buses." They're the only way to get to really rural areas not served by larger companies. They are neither comfortable nor clean. You're much better off shelling out a few extra dirhams for the punctual and pleasant CTM or Supratours buses unless you're going to out-of-the-way places only served by small companies.

In each city the bus station—known as the gare routière—is generally near the edge of town. Some larger cities have separate CTM stations. Ignore the posted departure times on the walls—they're never up to date. Ask at the ticket booth when the next bus leaves to your chosen destination. There's nothing wrong with checking out a bus before you buy your ticket, as some are dilapidated and uncomfortable. The greeson will sell you a ticket, take you to the bus, and put your luggage underneath (you should tip a few dirhams for this).

Buy tickets at the bus station prior to departure (ideally a day ahead of time); payment is by cash only. Tickets are only sold for the seats available, so once you have a ticket you have a seat. Other than tickets, there are no reservations. Often, tickets only go on sale an hour before departure. Inquire at the bus station for departure times; there are no printed schedules and the displayed schedules are not accurate. Children up to age four travel free. Car seats and bassinets are not usually available for children.

Fares

Fares are very cheap (currently around 20 DH for a one-hour journey to 250 DH for daylong trips). Luggage is usually charged by weight. Expect to pay no more than 10 DH per piece. Additionally, most CTM stations have inexpensive luggage storage facilities.

Bus Information

CTM. Km 13.5 Rte. de Casa-RabatSidi Bernoussi, Casablanca, Grand Casablanca. 0522/54-10-10; www.ctm.ma.

Supratours. 0537/73-10-61; 0537/73-10-64; www.supratourstravel.com/.

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