Getting to Tanger Med by Bus
There is a bus that runs from the Tangier Ville train station in the city of Tangier to the “Tanger Med” ferry port, contrary to popular belief. I found no information about it in Tangier; it was pure luck that I ran across info about it in a TripAdvisor forum post, so I’ve decided to post a little further information about it here. I hope someone finds it helpful. It does seem to run hourly throughout most of the day. [Last updated on May 8, 2017. Check the comments section for further updates.]
The fare is 7 dirhams! Yes, a mere 70 cents or so. That’s hard to beat for a 40km ride. You pay as you get on the bus; no advance ticket necessary.
What Bus Is It?
The bus is a blue ALSA city bus, number I-3. That’s a capital “i”, not an L or 1. You’ll see it either written as I3 or I-3 on the bus itself, so don’t confuse it with bus 13.
Where To Catch the Bus
You’ll catch this bus at the Tangier Ville train station, just outside the main entrance. If you’re exiting the station through the main doors, looking down towards the sea, you’ll turn right, pass the taxis, and across a small street (but don’t cross any of the major, multi-lane roads in the roundabout). There are some benches there near the corner, but no other markings to indicate that it’s a bus stop… just a large, extra wide sidewalk. (See Ned’s comment at the bottom of the page for a potentially different stop location during Ville Station construction).
Steve Lindeman, who traveled this route in April of 2017, took these photos of the bus stop itself. The first photo, below, is from the bus stop looking back towards the entrance of the train station, and should give you an idea of the distance. The second photo shows where the bus will pull up, and the third shows the benches that are often used by those who are waiting for the bus, and more of the surrounding location. Thanks Steve! If in doubt, ask at the information desk inside the front doors of the station. She was moderately helpful for me.
Tanger Med to Tangier Ville by Bus
For the reverse trip, from Tanger Med to Tangier Ville, Sara reports the following:
There’s a white bus stop on the national road 16. When you get out of the port, you have to go straight up the road where the taxis are waiting until you arrive to the main road, don’t cross the road, turn right and walk about 200m, and you’ll find a white bus stop, that’s where the I-3 will stop.
I haven’t made trip in this direction myself, so I can’t substantiate it, but it does sound consistent with what I remember from the Tanger Med port.
The bus seems to run hourly during the day. I showed up at the bus station at 10:00 AM, and the bus arrived at 10:30. I occupied my time in between fending off taxi drivers who were sure that I’d find their taxies much more comfortable than the bus. The ride to Tanger Med took me about 55 minutes. If you take a taxi, they’ll manage it in about 40-45 minutes… though they’ll tell you that it will take them only 15 minutes or 20 minutes while you wait for the bus.
About the Bus Ride
The bus ride is just fine: it’s not a luxury coach, it’s just a regular city bus, but they’re new and clean. In my case, most of the other bus passengers were port and ferry workers (there’s a bus stop for employees), but some other ferry passengers, too. It was a fragrant trip, but not intolerable.
The outside of the bus claims that it is “climate controlled”. As far as I can tell, this means that they leave the vent in the top of the bus open… though it may have just been that it was mild weather and nothing else was needed.
A note about the Tanger Med waiting area: it’s called a WiFi Zone, and while I could connect to the network, there was no internet actually available… not even a pay-wall sign in. So make sure you have other data options, if you need it.
Other Options: Train and Taxi
There is supposed to be a train that runs from the Tangier Ville station to the new Tanger Med station twice a day. For me, they were not at convenient times, so I didn’t try it, but the cost was just a few dollars. Once you get to the Tanger Med station, there’s a shuttle that takes you the additional 3km in to the port.
Taxi, though, is by far the most popular way to get to Tanger Med. By USA standards, it’s still very cheap for a trip of that distance… or at least, it can be. You’ll need to use one of the Grand Taxis (beige), not the little blue ones.
If you’re at the train station, the taxi fare should be no more than 200 dirhams to Tanger Med, but like everything in Morocco, you may need to haggle. They may ask for 250 or more, at first. If they don’t come down to 200, just go to the next taxi, or tell them you’re taking the bus for 7 dirhams… that’s a good bargaining chip, and it will bring them down fast. ALWAYS agree on a fare before you get in the taxi. Some taxis may charge you less if you agree to let them pick up and drop off other passengers along the way, though you might as well just take the bus if you’re going to do that.
As I was walking to the bus station, some guy tried to lead me to a taxi instead (as usual). I said, “No, I’m taking the bus.” He responded “But it’s Monday! No bus on Monday! It’s a holiday… you must know this!” I ignored him, and of course, there was no problem. If you’ve been in Morocco for a while, you’ll get used to people lying to you all the time, trying to trick you into one thing or another, but if you’re new to the country, don’t fall for it. Just ignore anyone who isn’t official and who tries to get you to go anywhere.
Updates and Further Information
I made this trip to Tanger Med on the 7th of November, 2016. If you’ve made the trip more recently, please comment below and let us know that the information is still accurate. It has now been accurate for at least one year, so it should be the same for the near future, at least.
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