30 Apr 2021
10 July 2021
Brasilia by Public Transport
Brasilia was built for about 500,000 people – now over 4.2 million people live and work here, making it the third biggest city in Brazil. It was also designed to be a car-friendly city, so the public transport system is a bit of a mess.
Rodoviária do Plano Piloto, in the heart of Brasilia, is the central bus station here. The buses leave and arrive from everywhere in the Federal District and its surroundings, including Goiás. At peak times, buses tend to be crowded, especially to the satellite cities. If possible, avoid them between 7 am and 8:30 am, and from 5 pm to 7 pm. During the night the fleet is drastically reduced.
The public transport system infrastructure is in shambles; the buses are mostly old, overcrowded and if there is a timetable we don’t know why because the frequency with which buses pass by is unpredictable.
The bus fares are cheap for us expats, but not for the locals. So if there is an increase in fares it is not uncommon to see the locals, who depend on public transportation to go to and from work, riot violently.
Yes, Brasilia has a subway, but I think less than 5% of the population in Brasilia are using it. The line begins at Rodoviária do Plano Piloto, the central bus station, goes through Asa Sul, Park Shopping and Rodoviária Interstate, Feira do Guará and to the satellite cities of Águas Claras, Taguatinga, Ceilândia and Samambaia.
During the morning and evening peak hours the trains are totally overcrowded. Timetables are pretty much adhered to.
Be incredibly careful when using public transport, especially during peak hours. Pickpocketing is a real danger and the ladrões are very clever in doing so. So if you have to use public transport, don’t flash your phones around and keep your belongings secure.