Sao Paulo - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

We are not supposed to use the local buses for safety concerns. There is a metro system for the metro area but I have never used it as it is easier to drive in my case. There are many taxi apps that much of the dip community uses-Uber/99Taxi among others. - May 2021

Yes, safe and affordable. Trains are not widely available aside from metro in the city. Very easy/cheap to rent cars as well. - Apr 2021

$1.25 or so for the bus or metro. Safe, but beware of pickpockets like in any major city. - Aug 2019

We avoided buses and the metro in Sao Paulo due to some security concerns, but mostly due to the overcrowding and lack of AC. We opted for Uber and 99Taxi apps which were very reliable and cheap. Parking can be an issue in Sao Paulo, so our car in the garage more than it was driven. - Nov 2017

Yes. Uber is ubiquitous. Buses and metro are safe, cheap, and easy to use. The bus drivers are a little herky-jerky and I wouldn't eat off the seats, but if you can live with that, it's a nice way to travel and pretty convenient. Bus stops are close to the Consulate. - Apr 2017

Generally, yes. The metro is great in the neighborhoods where it goes, but that's not everywhere, and it goes nowhere near the consulate or where most consulate employees live. Buses are OK but can get crowded. I've never felt unsafe on public transport. Uber works great here. Taxis are fine too, though the drivers sometimes have the TV playing in front of them on the dashboard as they drive you around, which is a culture shock. - Apr 2017

I always take taxis but many people take buses. Totally affordable. - Jan 2017

Uber and Easy Taxi are widely used. Buses, subways and taxis are CHEAP! - Jan 2017

Taxis are cheap and safe, and easy to find. There's a taxi ponto on my street, but I generally use an app called 99 Taxis to hail a cab. (It's a little like Uber, but the regular city taxis respond.) Plenty of people use the buses, too, but most of the train lines aren't anywhere near the Consulate or our neighborhoods. - Aug 2015

Taxis are safe and readily available and extremely affordable. - Aug 2013

Taxis are safe, widely available, but pricey in my opinion. You can pick up a 'taxi comum' at one of the taxi stands that are stationed around the neighborhoods. If you don't speak Portuguese, you can show them the address, and if they don't know it they can put it into their GPS or ask someone. Taxis use meters. I have used the subway, which is very clean and efficient. However, it only goes to a few parts of this large city, so it is not the most useful form of transportation. Buses are extremely crowded, so petty theft is a concern. As in any other major city, you should use common sense in crowded public places. I know many people who use the buses and think they are just fine. It would probably be best to know which bus takes you where before your trip, since the routes aren't intuitive. Of course, RSO discourages you from using the subway and --- especially --- the buses. - Dec 2012

Taxis called by phone are safe but very expensive. RSO advises against taking certain train lines and buses. After seeing how crowded subways, buses, and trains are during rush hour, you will probably decide to avoid taking them anyway. - Jan 2012

Taxis called by phone are safe--a bit expensive - Jan 2012

Metro and taxis are safe. I use both regularly, and have had no problems. - Jan 2012

All are safe and affordable. Taxis are by far the most convenient. Unfortunately the subway is poorly planned and can be a challenge to use, even for someone used to that sort of travel. Buses are the most inconvenient and cheapest. Crowded, smelly, and the most dangerous as well. - Oct 2008

Yes. Taxis are maybe US$12 to go somewhere fun from where I live. RSO thinks the bus and the metro aren't safe, but I think RSO is wrong. I have never heard of a robbery in the metro. They're a great way to avoid traffic and, in my opinion, safer than exposing yourself to car jackings. Paulistas listen to their iPods on the Metro, giving you an idea of how safe they think it is. - Aug 2008

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