Conchos are the most popular form of public transportation here in Santiago. Simply put, its a car that travels on a specific route, like a bus. It costs 20 pesos (about 50 cents) to ride, and it will take you anywhere you want to go on it's route. You can grab a concho any time of day, usually without having to wait more than 20 seconds for one to come by, as long as you are on a concho route. If you are going to hop in a concho though, prepare to get comfy. Since the concho driver's main goal is to get as much money as possibly, they pack in as many people as possible: That means often sitting 2 to the front seat, and 4 to the back. Needless to say, there will be some lap-sharing going on. Also note, that when a concho driver honks at you, he is not telling you to get out of the way or just honking at a pretty girl walking by (my earlier assumptions). Honking is simply a way of letting passersby know that you have seats available. So if you are walking along, and potentially look like you could use a ride, the driver will honk at you and slow down just a bit to see if you might want to hop in. Its up to you to just wave them on or signal for them to pullover.
I have to admit I did not take this picture myself, I stole it from http://santiagoessantiago.com/. This is the "A" route, as you can see from the clearly designated "A" on the door and windshield.
Since I was a little bit anxious about getting into a strange car with strange people and not really knowing where it would take me, one of the PUCMM English teachers offered to take me around the city on a couple different concho routes. I was relieved and extremely grateful for her offer. We spent a good hour winding through the city, with Maddy pointing out places of interest and even drawing me a map to help me remember.
Ok so the map makes sense to me! sort of...lol.