UPDATE 09/08/2015 All city bus routes are recorded and compiled on this map below. If you’re reading this on mobile, this’ll load for at least 3 minutes. Have a safe travel!
Here’s the list of all the bus routes drawn without geographic info.
Are you frustrated with the new bus system in Ulaanbaatar? So are we.
Hi, I’m Natso from SWyM, and tonight, I’m making the transit disarray as simple as sandwich.
Yes, I’m mapping all the bus routes on Google Maps! While we intend to record all the bus routes, there are over 51 routes, so it’s gonna take some time. But if you have any route you want me to record first, let me know in the comments and I’ll give it first priority. If the bus stop you want is not there, please check back later. Maybe share this with your friends. I’m working on it.
To use the map, click on the paragraph icon on the top left corner, and it’ll show you all the routes in different colors. If you click on a certain route, the info is on Mongolian and English. Feel free to zoom and look up your destination.
First, here are the 6 bus routes that go east to west and west to east.
Here are the 4 bus routes that go north to south and south to north.
Next, here are the 6 bus routes that go to the outskirts of the city on short schedules.
And here are the 5 bus routes that circle the city.
Finally, these are the 30 bus routes that have not changed.
Oh wait, there’s more. Here are the 13 bus routes that go to peri-urban areas.
Also, there’s the whole kerfuffle about smart cards. What’s that? Where do you buy it? How do you use it? Let’s cover that in few simple steps.
Step 1: Look at the places where smart cards are sold
All the yellow dots are smart card vendors in Ulaanbaatar.
Step 2: Go to the nearest bus stop
For me, the closest bus stop was Kombinat in Khan-Uul District.
Step 3: Look for a kiosk with a U Money icon on it
On the south side of the road, the bus stop had a kiosk that looked like this.
Step 3.5: If the kiosk isn’t available, look for convenience stores nearby with a U Money sign on them.
Unfortunately, the kiosk had sold out of all their cards. But the kiosk lady was kind enough to tell me about the mini-market nearby.
Step 4: Pay 3,600₮ for the card, and more than 500₮ for fare credit
Remember, bus fare credit is 500₮ for adults, and 200₮ for children over 7 years old. For trolleys, it’s 300₮ for adults and 100₮ for children.
Step 5: Get your awesome card
Step 6: Ensure you’re taking the right bus by consulting the routes behind bus stops
Know that these are only the routes that go through this particular bus stop.
Step 7: When the right bus comes, enter through the front door
Step 8: Touch your card against the machine at the front of the bus or trolley
Step 9: (Not available yet) Touch your card against the ticket machine at the back before you get off to get discount for your next transit in 30 minutes
This hasn’t been implemented yet, but when you’re hopping between buses, you’re supposed to get increasing discounts. This machine records your departure time, and if you take another bus within 30 minutes, you’ll get 100₮ off your fare. I know, ridiculous. But this isn’t even being implemented yet.
Natso Baatarkhuu lives in Mongolia and writes in English. His works have appeared in Cracked.com and The UB Post, and he started this website. He dreams of publishing novels and selling screenplays someday.