Congestion on Prestes Maia Avenue in São Paulo.

Transport in São Paulo plays a key role in the daily lives of the people of São Paulo and offers various methods of public transport that are offered in the city, including a complex bus system run by SPTrans, and various subway and railway lines. A contactless smartcard is used to pay fares for the buses, subway, and railway systems. São Paulo also has three airports.

Bus system[edit]

Over 16,000 buses form the bulk of the public transport in São Paulo; including about 290 trolley buses.[1] With the exception of a small network overseen by the EMTU, all bus lines are operated by concessionaires under the supervision of SPTrans, a municipal company responsible for the planning and management of public transport. The SPTrans buses are painted with region-specific colours and carry about 8,8 million people daily.[2] Until 2003, informal transport vans had a large presence in the city, but the vast majority are now registered with the city council, legalised, and now operate under the same colour scheme used in the main system. To increase efficiency in the city, São Paulo implemented in 2007 a bus rapid transit system called the Expresso Tiradentes.[3] There is also a 632 km (393 mi) long system of reserved bus lanes, which are placed on large avenues and connected with the subway or suburban railway stations.[4]

Rail transport[edit]




With 13 lines, 183 stations and a total length of 374 km (232 mi) (of which about 237 km or 147 mi is within the São Paulo municipal boundaries),[notes 1] the São Paulo Metropolitan Rail Transport Network is the largest urban rail system in Latin America.[5]

The network transports about 8,3 million people daily[2] and it is operated by four different companies. Two are state-owned: São Paulo Metro and the Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM). The other two are private: ViaQuatro, which operates Line 4 - Yellow ; and ViaMobilidade, which operates Line 5 - Lilac and the future Line 17 - Gold.[6]

Connections between the lines operated by different companies are usually free, with the only two exceptions being Tatuapé and Corinthians-Itaquera stations, where connections are paid during rush-hours and free during other periods.

There are currently 4 lines operated by the São Paulo Metro and 2 under construction:

  • Line 1 (Blue): The first Metrô line built. The line connects the North and the South Side of São Paulo. Connections are available for the Green, Red, Yellow, and Lilac lines, and also CPTM trains. The line serves Tietê and Jabaquara bus terminals.
  • Line 2 (Green): Transverses the Avenida Paulista ridge, connecting Vila Prudente to Vila Madalena, and connects to the Blue, Yellow, and Lilac metro lines, as well as to the Silver monorail line. It also provides connections to CPTM trains.
  • Line 3 (Red): One of São Paulos busiest lines and connects the East Side to the West Side. Connections to the Blue and Yellow lines are possible, as are with CPTM trains. The Barra Funda bus terminal is located on this line.
  • Line 6 (Orange) (under construction): Announced in 2008, with construction initiated in 2015, the Orange Line will connect the district of Freguesia do Ó, in the Northwestern side of the city to downtown São Paulo. Connections to the Blue and Yellow lines will be possible, and also with the CPTM trains. As of April 2021, the construction is ongoing and the opening is scheduled for September 2026.
  • Line 15 (Silver): This is the first high-capacity monorail line in the country. It runs east from Vila Prudente station, where it connects to the Green metro line. As of December 2019, ten stations are open with an expansion to Jardim Colonial currently under construction and another to Cidade Tiradentes, further east, is under development.
  • Line 17 (Gold) (under construction): Monorail line that will connect Morumbi station with the Congonhas Airport. Connection with the Lilac line will be possible, and also to the CPTM train service. As of April 2021, the line is expected to open in April 2023. Further expansion to this line is expected as plans to expand it are under development. The expansion will span westward, crossing the Pinheiros River and connecting to the Yellow Line, and eastward, connecting to the Blue line. Operation of this line will be contracted out to ViaMobilidade.[6]

The following line is operated by ViaQuatro:

  • Line 4 (Yellow): Connects the central Luz station to the West and South Sides in a route constructed immediately below the Consolação and Rebouças avenues. Connections are available to the Blue, Green and Red lines and to CPTM trains. Operation of this line is contracted out to ViaQuatro for 30 years, which is renewable for another 30 years.

The following line is operated by ViaMobilidade:

  • Line 5 (Lilac): Connects the South Side of São Paulo to the Blue and Green lines and to CPTM trains. It will be the only metro line to connect to the Gold monorail line after it opens in 2022. As of February 2019, plans of expanding the line north to Ipiranga and south to Jardim Ângela are under development. Operation of this line is contracted out to ViaMobilidade.[6]

There are seven lines operated by CPTM:

São Paulo had tram lines during the first half of the 20th century, but they were eradicated following the expansion of the bus system.[8]

Proposed regional rail[edit]

A four-line regional rail network linking São Paulo with other cities in the State of São Paulo using CPTM, cargo and new tracks is planned but on hold following the Brazilian financial crisis.

Public Transportation Statistics[edit]

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in São Paulo, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 93 min. 30% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit (including buses) is 19 min, while 35% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 8.1 km (5.0 mi), while 18% travel for over 12 km (7.5 mi) in a single direction.[9]





Aerial view Congonhas-São Paulo Airport.

São Paulo has three airports. Two of them, São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport and Congonhas-São Paulo Airport are located in the metropolitan area, while the third, Campo de Marte, is located north of the city center. Campo de Marte also hosts the Ventura Goodyear Blimp.

Congonhas Airport operates domestic and regional flights, mainly to Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasília. Guarulhos International Airport, also known to São Paulo locals as Cumbica, is located 25 km (16 mi) North East of the city center, in the neighbouring city of Guarulhos. Guarulhos airport operates both domestic and international flights. Major Brazilian airlines handled by Congonhas Airport and Guarulhos Airport include TAM Airlines, Gol Transportes Aéreos, and Azul Brazilian Airlines. Campo de Marte airport handles some private and small-sized airplanes.

In 2006, about 34.3 million people used the citys airports (mainly from Congonhas and Guarulhos International Airport, the only two operating commercial flights). Infraero, Brazils main aviation authority, estimates that with the remodelling of Guarulhos Airport, São Paulos airports will be able to handle about 45 million passengers a year within the next five years.

Additionally São Paulo Catarina Executive Airport located in São Roque, opened in 2019 handles general aviation traffic.


São Paulo has the largest fleet of helicopters in the world, with around 500 registered helicopters and 700 flights per day in the city.[10] The owners are an elite wealthy class who take advantage of approximately one hundred helipads and heliports to conveniently avoid heavy traffic. In addition, there are many air taxi companies in the city, used mostly by the upper class to travel between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.




Many Brazilian highways pass through or start in São Paulo itself, including the BR-116, Rodovia dos Bandeirantes, Rodovia Raposo Tavares, the Rodovia Anhangüera, Rodovia dos Imigrantes, Rodovia Castelo Branco, and Via Dutra.


The Rodoanel Mario Covas (SP-21) (also known as Rodoanel Metropolitano de São Paulo or simply Rodoanel) is a motorway being built around the center of the metropolitan region of São Paulo in an attempt to alleviate traffic intensity of trucks along the citys two riverside highways (Pinheiros and Tietê).

The Rodoanel is being constructed as a multi-lane, limited-access freeway, with large sections to be built in unoccupied regions: along the edge of forests, close to residential areas, etc. This is in an effort to prevent squatting and development in environmentally sensitive areas along the route. Construction is being carried out in four phases: west, south, east and north. As of mid-2010, the west and south section have been completed. The beginning of construction on the east section is planned for February 2011. Due to the rougher terrain and environmental concerns, there is no projected date for the initiation of construction on the northern section.

Travel restrictions[edit]

Similar to the Hoy No Circula program in Mexico, São Paulo has implemented restrictions on travel to maintain the quality of air. Drivers must respect a certain schedule according to the last digit of their cars license plate number.

Interconnected roads[edit]

West (2002) South (2010) East (2014) North (2018)
SP-332.png SP-332 SP-160.png Imigrantes SP-070.png Ayrton Senna BR Fernão Dias
SP-348.png Bandeirantes SP-150.png Anchieta BR Dutra
SP-330.png Anhangüera SP-66
SP-280.png Castelo Branco
SP-270.png Raposo Tavares
BR Régis Bittencourt


  1. ^ 273 km (170 mi) operated by CPTM + 101.1 km (62.8 mi) built by CMSP = total network of 374 km (232 mi), at which 136.5 km (84.8 mi) from CPTM + 101.1 km (62.8 mi) from CMSP = 233.7 km (145.2 mi) are within the limits of the City of São Paulo
  1. ^ Webb, Mary (Ed.) (2009). Janes Urban Transport Systems 2009-2010, pp. 42/6. Coulsdon (UK): Janes Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2903-6.
  2. ^ a b Reajuste das tarifas do transporte público ficará abaixo da inflação em 2020
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ UrbanRail.Net > South America > Brazil > São Paulo Metro. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  6. ^ a b c Via Mobilidade receberá Linha 5-Lilás do Metrô neste sábado, 4. Metrô CPTM (in Portuguese). 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  7. ^ a b Pela 1ª vez, governo de SP concede linhas de trens da CPTM à iniciativa privada; CCR assume linhas 8 e 9 por 30 anos. G1 (in Portuguese). 20 April 2021. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  8. ^ SÃO PAULO (1). Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  9. ^ São Paulo Public Transportation Statistics. Global Public Transit Index by Moovit. Retrieved June 19, 2017. CC-BY Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  10. ^ Branford, Sue. São Paulo: the worlds biggest helicopter fleet | Latin America Bureau. Retrieved 2019-03-31.

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