Fare takers with filthy fingernails, people doubled over in mini vans, pushing, shoving, different fares, stopping when there's a green light, going when there's a red light, buses that look like they should be used for scrap metal, and buses competing with each other for passengers are just a few of the many problems you have to deal with.
One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll get you cheaper prices. If you're looking to learn Spanish, the two programmes I recommend are Synergy Spanish and Fluent in 3 Months.
So they decided to create an organised system back in 2006 called El Metropolitano. Fastforward to now, 7 years later there's one line with 38 stops. Not much, but it's something. It's expensive though. At 2 soles per ride it'd double what many combis were charging. And forget about paying just a china (50 cents) for a short ride. There are no fare takers, Peru has entered the 21st century and is using cards.
The good news is that they're making an effort to be fair and organised, the bad news is that they've got a way to go.
The Ultimate Peru List recommends: