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 $. But if a little isn't a big deal, taxis aren't too bad and they don't screw you over as much as you'd think.
Rio's Bus drivers are totaly crazy!! A friend of mine once told me as a joke that the bus drivers are former car drivers that just got to mad at the other bus drivers and seek now for revenge!!! Anyway most of the drivers seem to have the Fittipaldi complex... they all believe they should be in Formula 1... they just weren't found yet! So if you take a ride on a normal city bus remind yourself of a few simple rules:
1- Before you head to the bus stop take your ticket money right away. Do not open your wallet on the bus stop or on the bus.
2- The entrance is done through the back door where the cashier is sitting. Give the money, go through the roller metal door and imediatly secure yourself especialy if you are the last one getting in. The driver will buzz off in no time!!!!
3- If you get the chance sit down. If not just hold tight and expect not to have an accident.
4- When you have to leave walk down the alley to the front of the bus and press the bus stop button. Do not release yourself before it stops!
There are other buses with much better drivers and conditions. They are a bit more costly. A ride from Flamengo to Leblon may cost R$ 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.
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$20).
What you give up is speed. A taxi will get you to Leblon in as little as 20-25 minutes. The bus takes 40-60 minutes, depending on the time of day and number of stops.
At GIG you catch the bus on the arrival level, paying either a clerk who works out of a kiosk or the conductor on board. In town you can hail it in front of major hotels and anywhere along the main beach-front streets. It will stop and let you off anywhere along its route.
The conductor stores bags you cannot carry aboard and gives you a claim-ticket.
All in all, the bus is a good choice — safe, comfortable, relatively fast, and very cheap.
When taking a bus, it might be a good idea to pray a bit before you get on, or be sure to bring your lucky clover!
People, this is serious! Bus drivers are absolute maniacs over there. They run the red lights (nice for people just crossing the road), race each other... Pure madness!!
But, it's all part of the fun of taking a bus. You get up at the back of the bus, pay the clerk sitting there (good system: this way the chauffeur isn't bothered), go through the barriers (if you're not too "vertically challenged", that is), sit down, and enjoy the cool breeze going through the bus. Getting off is at the front of the bus.
Clerks are usually very friendly, so don't worry about not knowing where you're going. You can either first ask them how to get there, or you can just get off at the terminus, and take another bus there (happened to me one day).
The main advantage of the bus, though, is that it's really cheap. Only 1.30 R$ at times to go through the whole city!
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.
Look no further then the "Real Bus"! For R$6,50 you can take a Real bus and save you some reais if you were to travel in a taxi. If you've been to Rio before, you know the airport is WAY out in the boonies so your taxi fare may be anywhere from R$45 to R$70 depending (I never used taxis in Rio so that's just a flat estimate more or less). But for less you can ride the "Real" buses. They're air-conditioned and can be spotted pretty easily (look for the word "Real" in big letters, it'll be a blue/silver bus). The buses go to and from the airport and you can catch them in some neighborhoods. If you're in the Botafogo neighborhood, you can catch the Real bus near the front of Rio Sul Shopping Mall. It sure beats walking miles to the airport that's for sure!
I found the buses to be safe and a great way to get around Rio. They're great to travel from Zona Sul (south end of Copacabana) to where the Metro starts at Siqueira Campos in order to get to Centro. There are specific stops on NS de Copacabana where certain numbered buses do stop but it seems that if you can try and stop the one you want from any stop they should stop for you. Luckily, I have stayed at the Arpoader end of Copacabana which is where a few lines start so it's easier to get on one!
All buses show their final destination on the front along with a few other areas that they'll pass through. Take the following from Zona Sul to get to Sugarloaf: No. 500, 511 or 512 (marked "Urca"), to the cog railway station which goes to Christ the Redeemer: No. 583 or 584. The fares depend on the length of the bus route but are generally between R$1.60 and R$2.10.
When you enter on a bus, enter at the front and proceed along towards the back. You'll have to pass through a turnstile which is where you pay the conductor who'll be seated and who'll control the turnstile, which is a little tricky to get through especially if you're carrying things. Hang on tight as they race along especially on the one way streets in Copacabana. Press the button or pull the cable in order to get off at your desired stop.
Taquara-Castelo/ Castelo Taquara
This bus is a great way to go around in Rio. The Bus has AC and it's very confortable. I always found a seat. It cost U$ 1.5 and you can go from Barra da Tijuca to Downtown in just one ride.
The view is beautiful and you will go along the beach most of the way.
You can go Barra da Tijuca- Sao Conrado-Leblon-Ipanema- Copacabana- Botafogo-Flamento-Downtown in just one ride.
Pretty cool. I used this bus a lot when I lived in Rio. It's safer than the rest of the buses and much more confortable.
Buses are a good way of getting around Rio during the day. At night, take a taxi. They are not cheap, but they are not as expensive as they would be in the United States or Western Europe. If you take the bus at night, you are asking for trouble.
RIO IS BASICALLY DIVIDED BY 3 MAIN PARTS...ACTUALLY ANOTHER AREA IS GETTING IMPORTANT, BUT THE 3 PARTS THAT YOU WILL BE AROUND ARE...THE ZONA SUL, CENTRO AND ZONA NORTE. The hotel and best area in the town is the Zona Zul, and actually this is the region most appreciated by the cariocas.
There are buses to the 3 parts of the town for 24 hours! they have different colors, and for our visitors it is a little bit confusing, but all you need is paying attention in the front of the bus which the destinations are always written, and when you get used with our buses you will be very familiar with the numbers.
this bus serves ZONA SUL, CENTRO AND ZONA NORTE...many bus options at Copacabana Avenue, officially named as AVENIDA NOSSA SENHORA DE COPACABANA.
It is in the harbour area in the way to Leopoldina and Feliciano sodre Avenue in the limits of Downtown and the suburbs of Rio, the best access to the Rodoviaria is reaching the terminal via Leopoldina.
For sure it is one of the cheapest ways to explore the State of Rio if you want to go to Buzios, Ilha Grande, Mangaratiba, Petropolis, Paraty and many cities of Rio.
You can also travel to different states of the country from there!
Our metro has TWO LINES, but when there is no subway station, the Metro provides buses to take us to the Station, and Copacabana is very well served with this bus. Cheap (2.30 reais, less than one dollar), copnfortable and big, air conditioning and very polite drivers. This bus can take you everywhere in the city. My friends from Phoenix when they came to Rio for one week, we used public transportation for one day to visit the city centre of Rio, from the right to left you can see Camelia, Siavash, Nadia, David, LOLA and my greatest brother Rodrigo.
Do not be afraid to use public transportation within the city, it is safe and sometimes more economic!
If you got the time and tight budjet your best bet from GIG to Copacabana and Ipanema is Real bus 2018. Very simple from the airport. Has a designated stop and booth. From the beach area going back to the airport a diffrent story. If your on Atlantica they will come by and stop. The question is when. Traffic is horrible and the sun nad heat is relentless. But they will be buy it's just when. I sat one day to observe when 2018 would come by. This couple waited about an hour. So if your in a rush find other means but if you have time and can stand the heat by all means. it's only 7 reais. Not bad. The taxis can run about 80 reais. Also ask you r hoitel they may have a shuttle service. Mines did. It was interesting he took us through a favela on the way to the airport. My only thought , a short cut??
Buzios is an old fish village location, discovered by Brigitte Bardot in early 60’s. Nowadays is a cozy small town away from Rio. It offers "pousadas" (B & B) with great views of the bay. Local buses available to Cabo Frio, Sao Pedro d' Aldeia or Arraial do Cabo. Also, boat taxis to reach the many islands around. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bb0HSZD_Ys
Take the transportation near your hotel which ends its route at the bus terminal "Rodoviaria Novo Rio". Keep in mind the same location you got off, will be where you'll catch the bus on your way back. Find the Buzios ticket window. Ask uniformed staff or store staff to avoid being misslead by good intentional people.
At the bus ticket seller window, you'll see the bus schedule affixed & decide which one is the best option. If you're going on high season, get a return ticket! There are always extra buses provided so you can also buy it there.
I advised you consider the air conditioning buses. It's usually expensive compared to the common buses but they're non-stop, while the other stops along the way. If you decide to get off the bus, make sure the driver is aware of it. You can buy stuff from the outside vendors off the bus window. Another reason to have at least an equivalent to $20 of change in the Brazilian currency handy. The bus route includes: the sierras, the Araruama lagoon and many beaches.
If return tickets are sold out, don’t panic! Place your name on the stand by list for the extra buses that will be provided.
C'mon be adventurous: board the bus and enjoy the road to Buzios!
Rather than a taxi, take a bus to Corcovado — to the station for the cog–train that will take you to the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) monument that is a symbol of Rio. (Oh, you must still climb 220+ steps to reach the base of the 100–foot high statue.)
Comfortable, air conditioned buses cost only R$12 in 2002; regular buses cost R$7 (about US40¢ and 23¢ at 2003 rates of exchange).
On the way to Corcovado you'll have fascinating glimpses of Rio's street life — shops and shopping centers, humble homes and mansions, and people, people, people.
From anywhere in the city look for a bus marked 'Cosmo Velho.' Take it almost to the end of the line. You'll spot the Corcovado cog–train station (and souvenir shops) on your left near the top of the hill. But if you miss it, the next stop is the last. All you have to do is get off the bus and walk a short distance down the hill and you're there.
Meanwhile, MIAN – the naïf art museum — will be on your right as you meander down the hill. And if you go to MIAN after you've visited Cristo Redentor, your cog–train receipt will give you free entrance into the museum.
In June 2003 elevators and escalators were installed at Corcovado. You no longer have to "climb 220+ steps" to reach the base of the monument. You get to the top more quickly and less tired -- but also with less a sense of triumph.
MIAN no longer grants free entrance to people with cog train receipts. The fee, in 2004, was R$10, or about US$2.25 at the then rate of exchange.