Vochotepec or Vocholandia? No matter what you call it, this place is a vochos (VW Beetles)’ paradise.
The “vocho” has been a success since it was manufactured in 1934, by the engineer and designer Ferdinand Porsche; who built an economical, safe and suitable vehicle for the people (German at that time). And even though almost 90 years have passed, the famous beetle is loved and persecuted by millions of people around the world, and in CDMX we are still fortunate to have a neighborhood with many vochos.
This neighborhood is located to the north of Mexico City, and it is Cuautepec Barrio Alto, a neighborhood located at the top of Cerro Loma; near Reclusorio Norte and Ticomán, where hundreds of people use vochotaxis as public transportation, like a hangover from those days when vochos were taxis and ran all over the city.
What distinguishes these vochos from Cuautepec is that they are basically “pirates” since they do not use chromatics, some units are neglected, there is no taximeter or authorized rate. Above all they are used for short trips or for some emergency. According to the capital’s Mobility Secretariat (SEMOVI), it is estimated that there are more than 1,500 units, which are concentrated in 70 points in the Gustavo A. Madero.
The vochotaxis cover a demand for transportation that neither the licensed taxis nor the Uber vehicles cover, due to the difficulties presented by the topography of the area. They also have affordable rates that start at $25 pesos, and can increase according to the distance of the trips.
Even these vochotaxis are in a regularization process by the Mexico City Transportation authorities, within which a census of these vehicles is carried out. For now, vochotaxis do not leave the Cuautepec area.
In addition, their traction allows them to climb the steep slopes, their compact dimensions allow them to access the narrow areas of the streets of Cuautepec el Alto and on the days of street markets they carry out local services from the Deportivo 18 de Marzo stations and to the west of the Pantitlán Metro.
In addition, these drivers know the area well, and their low weight provides optimal transport on these difficult streets. Because Cuautepec Barrio Alto is literally on the hill and since taxis don’t want to get to the place, the Vochos of the area filled that void by becoming the means of informal public transportation.
And since there are not so many cars of this type in any part of the city, it has earned the nickname of Vochotepec or Vocholandia, where for many years the Vochos have traveled the hill. Without a doubt, the Volkswagen is the best car out there for these steep streets. The regularization process continues, since in 2023 2,000 vochos from the area have been counted. For now, Vocholandia continues to grow.