Rome, Italy, has an advanced public transportation system with buses and a metro. One precaution to using this system is to watch out for pickpockets, as they use very sly techniques on crowded buses and trains!
The Roman Metro is usually referred to as the “Metropolitana.” It operates daily from 5:30 AM-11:30 PM, except for on Saturdays, when it stops at 12:30 AM. It is a rapid form of transportation, with trains stopping every 7-10 minutes, and no hold up from ground traffic.
There are only two lines, labeled A and B, so while it is a fast way to get around, it is not the most extensive network. Passengers are required to buy tickets before boarding, as drivers do not sell them. You must validate your pass by walking through the turnstile. These tickets can be purchased at the stations, or through newsstands, tobacco stores or vending machines. You must push a button to operate the doors on the blue line, but they operate automatically on the red line. The metro is not the most practical way of transit for tourists, as it does not stop at most of the major attractions.
The Roman bus system is much more extensive, and reaches to most areas of the city. Daytime buses run from 5:30 AM to midnight. Most buses do not operate on schedule, so do not expect to catch a bus at a specific time, but a select few do. Nevertheless, they show up fairly rapidly and passengers usually will not have to wait too long. To get on the bus, passengers must enter through the front and back doors, and exit through the middle doors. However, many people do break this rule. Since buses are not required to stop at every station, you may have to flag down the bus you wish to take, especially if you are outside the city center. To get off the bus, you need to ring the buzzer so the driver knows to stop.
The front seats on the buses are reserved for handicap, elderly people and pregnant women. If you are sitting in one of these spots, it is customary to give up your seat for priority passengers. Most of the buses in Rome are in the Linea Urbana, and the newer ones have air conditioning and more seating. There are also some express buses, called the Linea Express, which do not operate as much and do not make every stop.
Bus stops all have yellow signs that indicate which buses stop there, and their hours. There are also 20 lines of night buses that operate from 12:30 AM-5:30 AM. Buses get very crowded because they are the main way of transportation around Rome, so do not expect to get a seat every time.