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Public Transportation in Brasilia

Learning how to get around using public transportation in Brasilia is an important step in adjusting to life in Brasilia. In this article, we cover the local public transportation options.

Public transportation in Brasilia is diverse and extensive, offering a variety of options for both locals and expats. The city’s public transportation system includes the Metro Brasilia (subway), buses operated by the DFTrans, and taxis. For those considering living in Brasilia without a car, the city’s public transportation system is generally reliable and efficient, making it possible to navigate the city without personal transportation. However, like any city, the convenience and efficiency of public transportation can vary depending on your specific location and destination.

Metro Brasilia

The Metro Brasilia, or the Brasilia Subway, is a key part of the city’s public transportation system. It operates on two lines, the Orange and Green lines, which cover a significant portion of the city and its surrounding areas. The subway is generally safe to use, even at night, and is frequently used by locals for daily commuting. However, it’s always advisable to stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re traveling alone or late at night. The cost of a single ride on the subway is R$5.00, making it an affordable option for regular travel. The subway operates from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM on weekdays and from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on weekends and holidays.

DFTrans Buses

Buses operated by the DFTrans are another major component of Brasilia’s public transportation system. The buses cover a wider area than the subway, reaching into the more remote parts of the city and surrounding areas. The buses are generally safe to use, but as with any public transportation, it’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. The cost of a bus ride varies depending on the route, but generally ranges from R$2.50 to R$5.00. The buses operate on a variety of schedules, with some routes running 24 hours a day.


Taxis are a common form of transportation in Brasilia, especially for those who prefer a more private and direct mode of transportation. Taxis can be hailed on the street, booked in advance, or accessed through various ride-hailing apps. The cost of a taxi ride varies depending on the distance and time of day, but generally, it’s more expensive than the subway or bus. Taxis are generally safe to use, but it’s always a good idea to use a reputable company or app and to share your ride details with someone you trust.

Walking and Biking

Brasilia is a relatively pedestrian-friendly city, with many areas featuring wide sidewalks and pedestrian zones. Walking can be a viable mode of transportation, especially for short distances or in the city center. Additionally, Brasilia has a growing network of bike lanes, making biking an increasingly popular mode of transportation. There are several bike-sharing programs available, offering an affordable and eco-friendly transportation option.

In conclusion, living in Brasilia without a car is certainly possible, thanks to the city’s extensive public transportation system. However, the convenience and efficiency of public transportation can vary depending on your specific location and destination. As such, it’s advisable to research and plan your routes in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient commute.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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