Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Public Transit is Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo has a developed public transit system, full of buses, trolley buses, a metro system and trains. Passengers can pay their fare by obtaining a Bilhete Unico, which is a pre-paid, contact-free card that grants up to 2 hours of rides with transfers.



The Sao Paulo Metro has been in action since 1974, so it is a modern system that has not yet reached all areas of this huge city. It is a clean, efficient and safe system that is considered to be one of the best rapid transit networks in the world. It currently has 66 kilometers (41 miles) of track, which are divided into five lines, going into 58 stations. There are three lines that operate 7 days a week: Line 1, which is blue, Line 2, which is green, and Line 3, which is red. Lines 4 (yellow) and 5 (lilac) only operate on certain hours. Line 4 is the newest line, which started working in May 2010, with more stations to open later. This Metro system transports about 3.6 million passengers a day. In the city, the Metro runs underground, but it goes above ground in the outskirts.


Companhi Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM)

The CPTM is a regional commuter rail system that serves the greater metropolitan area of Sao Paulo. There are currently 6 lines, numbered 7 through 12, but there will be 4 new lines in the future. It is a new system that began operating in 1992, and the trains move on railway lines that had already existed around the city. The CPTM has 260 kilometers of track with 93 stations, and about 1.9 passengers ride in these trains per day.


Buses/Trolley Buses

The bus network in Sao Paolo consists of about 17,000 city buses and 290 trolley buses. The vast majority of these buses are administered by SPTrans. These buses are mostly color-coded. The white buses go around the city center, but the color-coded buses go to non-central parts of Sao Paulo. Buses are the most popular way for citizens to travel around the city, as they go to more places than the Metro. They are not the fastest way to get around, as the city is plagued with intense traffic. Some of the streets in this city have busways so that traffic flows faster.


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