Access to one of the Reykjavík capital area’s most popular hiking sites by public transit – Esja mountain – has been severely limited since May 22. The bus stop at the mountain’s base has been closed to Route 57, the main route from the capital area that stopped at the site. There are no concrete plans for the service to be reinstated, Strætó public transport service confirmed to Iceland Review.
While the Reykjavík capital area features many fantastic walking and hiking areas, few are easily accessible by public bus. Previously, Reykjavík residents could hop on Route 57 to reach Esja from Ártún bus terminal. The route runs 11 times per day on weekdays and 7-8 times per day on the weekends.
Last May, however, the Road and Coastal Administration, which operates public bus service outside the capital area, decided to close the bus stop at the base of the mountain to Route 57.
“The reason for the closure is that the buses often have difficulty turning around and re-entering the highway after they have driven up to the stop,” a notice on the Strætó website reads.
Those who hope to reach Esja by public transport can now only do so from the suburb of Mosfellsbær, where they must call in advance to order a special taxi service, available only three times a day. From Reykjavík, the entire trip would take around 1.5 hours (it is a 20-minute drive). The earliest possible arrival time is 3:00 PM.
The Road and Coastal Administration has not yet decided whether Route 57 will begin stopping at Esja once more this winter.