Transportation – Part III
Travel by Metro
In my opinion, the safest source of transportation in Brazil is the metro or the subway. Why? Because each station is loaded with cameras, the prices are fixed and it is a lot faster than travelling above ground by bus or by taxi. However as in any city, it just makes common sense to be careful. At various times of the day, i.e. especially during ‘rush hour,’ the metro can become extremely crowded. So ladies carry your handbags in front of you and try to carry minimal amounts of cash. Of course it is always more economical to use a metro card since if you get off one stop and stay for less than 2 hours and then you decide to board a bus or another train, in most cases you will receive a discount. Yes, you can also use your card to catch the bus to the train station and then you use it to catch a train, in such a case, you will be guaranteed a discount. But with cash, you will always pay FULL fare.
Metro cards (see sample below) are available in most train stations or they can be purchased from any location that sells lottery tickets – they are everywhere, in malls, on street corners, in various shopping areas etc. I will warn you that you may not always be able to purchase them in the train station.
The stations are usually clean and the instructions are very clear. As I said previously, it makes sense to know where you are going by checking goggle maps for example, because you may find yourself in a situation where there is no one around who speaks English. I suggest using google translate to write down your needs in Portuguese and taking it with you. If you do get stuck, you can always show someone the name of the place or the location you are seeking and they will gladly assist. If possible, go to a policeman or ask an attendant – I must warn you that they may not speak English either. However generally they will try to assist.