ADO, the bus company that grew with Mexico


ADO buses were once known as “The Suicide Squad”, we explain why, as well as the history of this important transport company that connected the Gulf and central Mexico.

In 1939 there was not a highway that connected the Federal District (today CDMX) with the Port of Veracruz. It was rather a rough road, full of stones, holes, gorges, mud, and other insecurities. But it was on this route that the history of the ADO bus company began.

That feat began on December 23 of that year, with a 16-seater International brand bus, which were fully occupied by the same number of passengers who were charged 14 pesos each for the trip.

ADO’s all-in-one drivers

From that moment, difficulties arose. The driver had to act as a ticket agent, porter, usher and, of course, as a mechanic. That journey was so bumpy that covering the D.F.-Veracruz route, with its respective stops in Puebla, Perote and Xalapa, took 10 and a half hours. And as if the vicissitudes were few, neither in Buenavista nor in the Port did they have terminals, much less in the towns through which they passed.

But that was how Autobuses de Oriente (ADO) began with a transport career that has not stopped to this day. In 1940, they introduced the Pect buses, which could move at the incredible speed of 70 kilometers per hour, then they added 32 Spartan buses, they created the Buenavista terminal, beginning a rudimentary.

“Suicide squad”

In the decade of the 60´s, they introduced the Fitzjohn, crucial to open more dangerous routes; the first of these was the México-Villahermosa, considered dangerous due to the roads full of potholes, desolate areas, and sections where any help would take many hours to reach. This team of drivers and buses was known as the “Suicide Squad.”

By then, ADO, with barely 20 years in the transportation industry, had already covered routes to the Gulf of Mexico and was beginning to make its way to the Yucatan Peninsula. It was then that they introduced the Dina Flexible; Mexican buses that people called “jorobaditos”, which served to open routes to the north of the country, the first of these destinations was Tampico.

La Tapo Terminal and ADO

Then they brought the Dina Olímpicos, with which they reached Matamoros. It was at this stage that the Tapo terminal was opened, giving a great boost to ADO and other buses companies.

New roads, on which the Mercedes Benz buses rolled to transport the soccer players of the Mexico 86 World Cup.

Technology like tachometers to measure the speed of buses, purchase of high-tech Volvo buses. In 2013 came the acquisition of the South American company Avanza, which further increased its destinations.

Without a doubt, ADO is a company that has marked the traveling life of millions of Mexicans. Recognizable by its cherry colors that have been combined with gray and gold colors.

Source: Mexico Desconocido