Bus in Rio, Rio de Janeiro
If you look at the sign in the front of the buses it'll tell you the area it's going to. Once there you can ask for directions to your destination. That is a tip for those not wanting to spend $. But if a little isn't a big deal, taxis aren't too bad and they don't screw you over as much as you'd think.
Dont be afraid to use the public transportation, in fact it is much more fun to do!!!
There are really nice buses in Rio, (not all nut some, visible difference)...THey go fast and allow you to get a better view then from a cab.
Plus you can be sure you wont get screwed by the cabbie & get a chance to mix in with the local life more.
Metro is very sufficient to ride....most of the stations are well protected and very clean....
Rio's Bus drivers are totaly crazy!! A friend of mine once told me as a joke that the bus drivers are former car drivers that just got to mad at the other bus drivers and seek now for revenge!!! Anyway most of the drivers seem to have the Fittipaldi complex... they all believe they should be in Formula 1... they just weren't found yet! So if you take a ride on a normal city bus remind yourself of a few simple rules:
1- Before you head to the bus stop take your ticket money right away. Do not open your wallet on the bus stop or on the bus.
2- The entrance is done through the back door where the cashier is sitting. Give the money, go through the roller metal door and imediatly secure yourself especialy if you are the last one getting in. The driver will buzz off in no time!!!!
3- If you get the chance sit down. If not just hold tight and expect not to have an accident.
4- When you have to leave walk down the alley to the front of the bus and press the bus stop button. Do not release yourself before it stops!
There are other buses with much better drivers and conditions. They are a bit more costly. A ride from Flamengo to Leblon may cost R$ 2,00. But it is worth it. The buses are either small or large and look just like the normal tour buses. They have air inside and they do not take more people than the number of seats available. In Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Barra da Tijuca there are a lot of them. They are commonly known as "Frescao" which means Very Fresh because of the air conditioner service.
City Buses in Rio cost 1.5 R$ for regular and 1.7 $R for the air conditioned. YOu do not get to choose as it is completely random whether the next bus with be nice to acceptable. They were rarely crowded and always found a seat except for news years night which not suprisingly made me feel like a sardine for awhile. I stayed out at Maracana, near the football stadium so had to take buses to get to everything. It was no problem as the 464 took me to Leblon/copacabana and the 455 to copacabana and dropped me off within a couple blocks of the apartment I was staying and within a couple blocks of whatever place I was trying to get to. I took buses everything including Cristo de Redentor(cosme velho bus). Taxis are not bad and did use them late at night to get from Lapa to the place more for expedience than need as plenty of buses go through Lapa. Never felt unsafe and the places the buses are going are clearly posted on the top of the bus and on a plaque in the window. Getting all the way to the Nitoroi Museum of Contempory art was not problem even though it involved a bus to Praca XV(15), a boat across the bay and then a small bus(47B) that drops you off right in front of the museum. So save some money and use the city bus the truly best tour of Rio.
Wanna live dangerously? Then take the bus!! No, it's not that bad, but the drivers certainly like to put the pedal to the metal. These guys go around corners like they were carrying a bunch of pregnant ladies to the delivery room. I'm not sure that I really figured out the buses (I only rode them twice), but you'll see the final destination posted on the window in big letters and a few of the main intermediate stops in smaller letters on the side of the front window. If you want to go to Maracana, obviously you'd look for the bus that says Maracana on the window. Now, finding out exactly where these buses will stop to pick you up is something I didn't quite figure out!
Also, the buses won't stop just because you're standing at the bus stop. Make sure you stick your arm out and wave the driver down to let him know you want him to stop.
If you blow up this picture, you'll see the main destination "Muda" written in large letters on the top of the front window. On the right hand side you'll see other intermediate destinations listed.
The Airport Bus runs from GIG (Rio International) to SDA (Santos Dumont) and downtown (Centro), then to Copacabana, Ipanema, and the very end of Leblon — and back.
The fare is only R$6 (US$2.10. This compares with up to R$130 (US$45) for a taxi, though in slow times you can usually bargain a taxi down to R$60 (or US$20).
What you give up is speed. A taxi will get you to Leblon in as little as 20-25 minutes. The bus takes 40-60 minutes, depending on the time of day and number of stops.
At GIG you catch the bus on the arrival level, paying either a clerk who works out of a kiosk or the conductor on board. In town you can hail it in front of major hotels and anywhere along the main beach-front streets. It will stop and let you off anywhere along its route.
The conductor stores bags you cannot carry aboard and gives you a claim-ticket.
All in all, the bus is a good choice — safe, comfortable, relatively fast, and very cheap.
Best is busses since car is too complicated in the beginning. However, during the nicht i´d recommend a privat car.
Don´t forget to lock the doors and do not stop at red lights. Rather approach carefully honk the horn and cross them.
When taking a bus, it might be a good idea to pray a bit before you get on, or be sure to bring your lucky clover!
People, this is serious! Bus drivers are absolute maniacs over there. They run the red lights (nice for people just crossing the road), race each other... Pure madness!!
But, it's all part of the fun of taking a bus. You get up at the back of the bus, pay the clerk sitting there (good system: this way the chauffeur isn't bothered), go through the barriers (if you're not too "vertically challenged", that is), sit down, and enjoy the cool breeze going through the bus. Getting off is at the front of the bus.
Clerks are usually very friendly, so don't worry about not knowing where you're going. You can either first ask them how to get there, or you can just get off at the terminus, and take another bus there (happened to me one day).
The main advantage of the bus, though, is that it's really cheap. Only 1.30 R$ at times to go through the whole city!
I was paranoid at first from what I read on the internet and many of the travel guides about the dangers that lurk for tourists if one used the buses.
This is totally false, the public transportation system is excellent. The buses are safe cheap. They are a bit crowed only during peak office hours. Its the best way to go. Its pathetic why they get so much negative press.
Use a cab if you need to travel a long distance and are in a rush to get somewhere, for everywhere else the bus is great. The subway was nice too , much cleaner than New York but a very sparing network.
Take the bus in Rio it is safe, cheap, easy and not too slow they also go to anywhere in the city your heart deires.
I prefer to get the subway to get around in Rio, but when this is not possible I use this web site to know which bus I should take. It's in portuguese but it's easy to use.