Metro Adventure


This week I braved the infamous 25 de Março to do some X-mas shopping. And I took the subway to get there!

I’d only been on the subway once before, more than a year ago, with a chaperone. But I decided to challenge myself with a solo trip. My experience was quite nice.

The metro system in Sao Paulo is more organized than anything I’ve seen so far in this country. It is large, well-lit, and well marked with lots of clear signage. There are even stalls or ground markings, depending on the station, where the train stops and the doors open – and people actually line up to get in the cars and maps in the station to tell you exactly where you are in the city.


It is also reasonably inexpensive at $R3 per trip.

Only two real challenges. First, it is a huge, multi-level operation, so except to walk.


Second, the system is limited in terms how extension, so it doesn’t compare to the bigger global cities in which you can almost anywhere via subway/elevated train. But if you need to go from one point in Sao Paulo proper to another, you should be able to get at least most of the way via subway.

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7 Responses to Metro Adventure

  1. Alex says:

    with a chaperone, hahahahahaha

    Anyway, I’ve heard lots of great things about the SP subway. Currently they are building about a million more lines and it’s currently considered the ”world’s fastest growing metro system.”


  2. Matt says:

    The subway is actually very good….it’s reach its just limited. Hopefully the new construction will improve that.

    Also, there is a clear differentiation between the lines. The Green line which runs along Paulista is the nicest (except for maybe the new yellow line, but they are about the same in quality and cleaniness.) Then you get to the blue line which if you take it far enough south towards Jabaquara, you start to see how they invest in nicer cars and stations relative to the socioeconomic level of the neighborhood.

    But it was the same in NYC ten years ago. The green line there (4,5,6 runs up east side) was ten times nicer and cleaner than the yellow line which runs from Queens to Bay Ridge Brooklyn.

    I do feel perfectly safe on the São Paulo subway though and use it as often as possible to avoid the traffic.

    • Interesting! I’ve only ridden it between 25 de Março and Jardins and then this week Consolaçao. But you are right – certain lines in NYC are definitely sketchier than others, also based on the socioeconomics of the city.

    • Andrew Francis says:

      I’m sure there’s an element of that (nicer lines for nicer neighborhoods) but there’s also a simpler explanation. The blue line is the oldest so it’s more worn down than the rest. As the new lines were built they received newer (and nicer) stations and trains. It would be prohibitive to retrofit the whole network to the same standard all the time.

  3. The subway is good, but during rush hour it is way too crowded. At least they have public transportation though!

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