Edited in late May: Same alert reader wrote to say buses were running fine–and indeed they were when I visited a few weeks ago. They go every 30-45 minutes from the airport. From downtown Cancun, they still run every 15 minutes. I also took a colectivo (shared minivan) from the Cancun bus station parking lot–easy, and left faster than the bus.
An alert reader just emailed me to ask about the bus from Cancun airport to Puerto Morelos, as it appears from www.ticketbus.com.mx (now redirecting to www.boletotal.mx, btw) that there are no buses to Puerto Morelos.
In fact, there are, at least as of last week. The reason Puerto Morelos doesn’t show on the ticketing site anymore, I’m guessing, is that it has been downgraded to a ‘local’ stop midway along a longer route, and I think it’s also a low-tech, non-computerized stop that can’t do its own ticketing anyway.
Leaving from the airport (or from Cancun’s bus station), you shouldn’t have a problem. The bus starts there, and will stop at PoMo en route to Playa del Carmen on request. The bus, in my experience, has never been full. You can check the schedule at www.ado.com.mx, which still lists Puerto Morelos as a destination (confusingly!).
Problems arise when you want to take a bus from Puerto Morelos.
This is the first change: Because PoMo is now just a local stop, they won’t guarantee you a seat on the bus–they’re not going to hold a seat empty in Playa or Cancun, just for you to get on halfway. This is a problem both for the airport buses and for the bus to the Cancun bus station and Playa del Carmen. Of course if there are empty seats, you can hop on–but no one really wants to take this gamble when going ot the airport. Well, problems arise if you don’t plan ahead: I was able to buy a ticket to the airport from PoMo, no problem–but you really must do it one day in advance to guarantee a seat.
This brings us to the second change: The service between the Cancun bus station and Playa used to run every 10 minutes, but has been slowed to every 15
or 20. To quote my helpful informant at Alma Libre Books in PoMo, “That doesn’t sound too tragic, but now the bus fills up regularly in Playa or Cancun and just zips by PoMo without stopping. The ironic things is that as PM grows, we get less respect!”
Unfortunately, I think this means you’re more at the mercy of taxi drivers when leaving Puerto Morelos, especially for the airport. For Cancun bus station or Playa del Carmen, you can also try colectivos.
Either way, you’ll probably have an easier time heading south, as I think Cancun-PoMo is common, but rarely are people traveling Playa-PoMo, so fewer seats open up. These were running very regularly, with plenty of room, when I visited in late May.