Growing Frustration over Lack of Customer Service on Tren Maya

Platform of the Tren Maya Station in Merida

Riders ask for Customer Service from the Tren Maya

After the first month of “pre-opening “of service on two routes of the Tren Maya, customers are left with questions and no answers. Online customer service is practically nonexistent for the Tren Maya. Both Mexicans and tourists have lists of questions to be answered that is preventing people from exploring with the train. What is one of the largest rollouts of new tourist infrastructure in Mexico has left potential riders of the train baffled by the dearth of customer service by the Tren Maya. 

Note: A few things to mention first, customer service in the stations is pretty good. However, customer service online is virtually nonexistent, and many people cannot easily get to a station to get information, only to return at another time to take the train. We hope this article can be helpful to those rolling out information about the Tren Maya so they can include some of the missing information online.  Here are experiences and things missing in the information from the Tren Maya. 

Update January 24th, 2024: Ticket sales are not available on the Tren Mayas website here. You can buy from station to station and not just the main stations. 

The Tren Maya’s Social Media Lacks Customer Service

Across all the Tren Maya’s social media, the results are the same, a nice post, followed by comments and questions and limited ability to send messages, and even then, no response. Some people we talked to have been sending messages on different platforms for a month only to get zero response from the Tren Maya. See for yourself below. 

Facebook

The official page of the Tren Maya is here. There is no message button and the only way to reach them is a comment. No official responses to questions given. 

Twitter

The official page of the Tren Maya is here. There is no message button and no response to questions in the comments. 

Instagram

Here is the official page of the Tren Maya on Instagram. They do have a message button but have never responded to us. Comments on post also are not officially answered. 

YouTube

Here is the official channel of the Tren Maya. There is no messaging button. Some videos have comments turned off and when there are comments, no official responses to questions. 

Even the official website of the Tren Maya does not have answers to many of the basic questions readers ask. There is one email address, but emails are not being answered. So, this leaves future riders of the Tren Maya asking “Where is the online customer service?”.

Merida Teya Station Tren Maya
A Tren Maya information booth sits empty in the station.

What kind of questions do readers have about the Tren Maya?

Any new transportation system is going to take a good education system to get riders comfortable with using a new form of transportation. So far, the rollout has left a lot of future riders in the dark to basic questions. Below are some of the things that we hope the Tren Maya addresses. 

Where to Buy Tickets and Information

  • At first for the first three weeks there were only tickets for point to point among the three large stations online. And these tickets were only sold at international tourist prices. Locals of the 5 states the Tren Maya passes, elderly, and national tourists have different prices, but can only purchase them in Tren Maya stations now. So, most people needed to go to the station in advance, but many do not live next to a station. We ran into Mexicans from Mexicali that traveled to the east of Mexico to take the train. When arriving they could not find tickets for sale only to find out they had to visit the station. This was a 25-minute ride to the station and another 25 minutes back to the hotel and then the next day back to the station again to take the train. This highlights that even Mexicans are having trouble finding information about the Tren Maya. Update: There is a new website for buying tickets here
  • Locals are asking about the prices for the Tren Maya. There are no prices given online for locals now. Only this information is found at stations. 
  • Can bikes be brought on any of the different train types?
  • Service animals can ride the train with the proper paperwork. The information with the tickets says they have to be registered before the trip or there is a charge. How do people do this? The details and instructions are not clear. 

As you can see below, this is what the online ticket options look like. This option is from Cancun to Merida leaving at 9:00am. The options are first class (Clase Premier) and second class (Clase Turista). The only prices are for international tourists. 

Train Station Information

  • Where are the stations. Yes, Google maps can help, but we have found some stations way off from where they are supposed to be on the map. So even outside sources don’t have all the information of where you will actually get on or off the train. 
  • Are stations handicap accessible? We believe so but we don’t know about all the smaller stations. 
  • Is there parking at the station if you drive there? Is there free parking? We now know the answer to this since taking the train, there is free parking, but most is not shaded, so long term parking is not a good idea. Also, stations do not take responsibility for cars park in the lots. 
  • What connecting transportation is there at stations? This is important since many of the stations are outside of towns and cities, and you need to figure out additional transportation. We had to wait and see when we arrived at stations to see what was available because there is very little information about services to and from stations. We have started to make guides for readers for some stations already since it is missing information. Here is information on the Merida Teya Tren Maya Station and Campeche (San Francico de Campeche)
  • There are no phone numbers to stations nor information on which stations are open, what hours are the stations open and what hours do they have attention for clients? Are all stations between Cancun and Palenque open? It appears so, but since this is the only way to buy tickets for some, this information is important before people drive to stations looking to get information and or buy tickets. 
Campeche Tren Maya Station
This is the Tren Maya Train Station in Campeche.

Tren Maya Train Schedules

  • Currently the only schedules are the times the train leaves a main station. There is no information online about schedules for other stations in between. Nor is there information about schedules to plan a return the same day or when trains will take you back to where you started. Right now, there are a lot of people that want to experience the train, but do not want to take a big trip across the entire peninsula. But the lack of information makes it near impossible to plan a trip unless you go to the train station. Even then, there are specific hours of attention for clients, but those hours not posted online. 
  • We realize that the trains are not running on a tight schedule now due to further work, but a temporary schedule or general guide for now would help. 
  • No official policies. When you do buy a ticket there is a page of policies for the train. These talk about luggage sizes, pets, refunds and basic information. But other official policies like what ID do riders need or is accepted, will permanent and temporary residents have access to local prices? Right now, riders are relying on the customer service in the stations, but different information is being given out at different stations. 

How many people have taken the Tren Maya?

The numbers were reported for the first three weeks of service on the Tren Maya. In the first three weeks or service, 15,579 people rode on 144 train trips. Most of which were nationals. This means that if we take the total amount of riders and divide by 21 it is 742 people per day on average taking the train. So, if we were to put the daily riders of the Tren Maya so far on a bus, it would fill about 15 buses a day. That is not that much considering between Cancun and Merida there are about 40 buses a day just going one-way on ADO

Another way to measure some the tourism that comes to the Yucatan Peninsula is by looking at Cancun Airport. Even though there are other airports and people arriving by bus and other forms, Cancun Airport services a bulk of tourists arriving and departing the peninsula. In 2023 there were 39, 908,145 passengers using the Cancun Airport. This means that if people arrived and depart from the airport, it is about 19,954,072 passengers a year more or less. That is on average 54,669 people per day arriving. That means that the number of people that have taken the train represents only 1.4% of tourists arriving (just in Cancun Airport). 

We can also take the local population and divide the number for a percentage of residents that have taken the train. Even though there are five states where the Tren Maya passes, we will count just Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo for a total of 5,107,261 (2020 census). If we divide the population by the number of riders that have taken the Tren Maya, it represents .03% of residents have been on the train in the first three weeks. 

These are all rough numbers, and not even the complete picture. It does, however, highlight that a very small percent of people have taken the train in the first three weeks. There is an incredible amount the Tren Maya can grow, but as we mention in our video below, it needs to be efficient, accessible and there needs to be sufficient information for tourists and locals to take the train. The Tren Maya has created a lot of excitement and pride among locals and Mexicans. It has the potential to open new tourism routes and build on existing infrastructure. It also has the potential to change the way we travel. 

We hope that when the complete route of the Tren Maya opens, information, service and buying tickets becomes easier. The public’s interest in the project has been great and people are excited to take a train journey. Now it is just a matter of matching the level of interest with information so that everyone that wants to can enjoy a ride on Tren Maya. 

Our Video About the Tren Maya

We mention the lack of information in our video of the Tren Maya because we want them to be helpful and realize that people need more information in order to plan and actually take the train. We also added a lot of information because it is not found online yet. We hope you enjoy a look at the Tren Maya now. 

 

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