Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Metrô São Paulo-São Paulo/Subway


Sao Paulo's integrated Metropolitan Transportation system

HERE you can see more videos and pictures of Sao Paulo's subway and metropolitan train systems.

HERE you can find maps and more information on the Sao Paulo subway system and it's plans for future expansions.

Sao Paulo is changing very quickly. Faster than I can keep up with, principally the subway system.
In recent years, the subway has expanded into many new neighborhoods and if you ask me, there is a lot of redundancy.
In my opinion, there are some areas of the city that needed subway much before the areas where they are expanding into right now. For example, Barueri (Alphaville), Osasco, Guarulhos ( International Airport ), Santo Andre, Sao Caetano do Sul e Sao Bernardo do Campo ( MY BIRTH PLACE :) ) are all large cities in the Sao Paulo metropolitan region that needed subway right now, so the hundreds of thousands of motorists from these cities that drive into Sao Paulo everyday for work could leave their cars home and take the subway, these large cities alone probably dump around 1 million cars in the city of Sao Paulo everyday, that is a top priority if you ask me.
But the mentality is still taking the buses out of the street ( which is also a good idea ), so they are building subway to replace the bus, not the car, at least not yet.
They haven't been focusing on forcing car drivers to take the subway yet. A must if my opinion.
Having said that, I have to admit that they are doing a fantastic job with the new subway lines.
Super modern, clean and efficient is their trade mark.
Paulistanos have always been super proud of their subway, people won't litter and their are cameras everywhere, so even if they do behave badly, they will get in trouble.
The subway in Sao Paulo is squeaky clean, super safe, fast and reliable, the proud and joy of our city.
It's not an accident or a coincidence, there is a lot of hard work and very well paid employees.
I have friends who graduated from Law School and gave up their law careers for a great paying, stable job at Sao Paulo's subway. They are considered a state company, so the retirement benefits are also very attractive.
Public workers in Brazil retire with their full pay, or 100% of their current salary and receive premium health insurance for life and have a super powerful union.
It sure beats any job in the private sector.
Now elected the BEST SUBWAY SYSTEM in the AMERICAS. How awesome is that?
So I decided to post a short video to give you a sneak peak of Sao Paulo's awesome subway system.


Alex said...

Absolutely Fantastic! For a huge city like SP it is essential.

Good thing they are following in the footsteps of Europe (which has a great rail network) and not the USA, which generally has spotty networks that don't really serve that much of the population.

Ray and Gil said...


Yes, Sao Paulo is finally waking up for the subway just now.
However, there was an attempt to start building the subway in the city about 100 years ago, around the same time the New York subway was built, but the Bus Companies owners of the time already had a strong foothold in the city's political agenda. So, the subway waited about 80 years and Bus companies and Cable cars companies flurished in the city.
They are investing in the subway now because there is no way out, there is a desperate need for an efficient mass transit system.


Danielle said...

Yay, Sao Paulo! Lindsey and I walked through the yellow line's new transfer with the green line at Avenida Paulista during its grand opening. It's soooo fancy! It looks all futuristic and everything. Our whole day in Sao Paulo, all Lindsey kept doing was expressing her shock at how much better public transit (esp. the metros) are in Sao Paulo than they are in Rio. I think it's good for the city to focus on getting rid of buses first -- it's essentially transferring money from the bus system to the metro system, which is probably why they can afford it. But I will be SOOO happy when there's a metro to Guarulhos!

Ray and Gil said...


The large majority of the bus companies in Sao Paulo are private, hence their century old fight to keep the subway from expanding. The state is just winning the arm wrestle right now.
There is a line being built to Guarulhos International Airport which will also connect with the new SPEED BULLET train being built between Campinas, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It will be awesome.
I don't even know the yellow or green lines yet, it sounds great.
I remember when I was a child my grandmother took me to ride the newly inaugurated subway on a Sunday morning, it was 1976. There were only the blue and the orange/red line at the time and they probably had half the stations they have today.
Rio's public infrastructure has been semi-negleted for the past 18 years or so because they have elected governors and mayors opposite to the federal government's political party. That made a huge difference in federal investments in Rio's general infra-structure.
However, it's worth to mention that the Sao Paulo subway system is funded by the state of Sao Paulo.


Zoe said...

I love Sao Paulo's metro system! I really think the solution to so many problems lies its expansion. Clean, well-lit and very frequent trains (I've waited up to 30 minutes at off-peak times in Barcelona, Madrid, Montreal, etc... that would never happen in Sao Paulo).

My only real complaint is it just doesn't cover enough ground yet, because of the time and investment required to dig those tunnels. Paris, London, and NYC all have some of the best coverage, and they're all the oldest. Imagine where SP would be if they'd started 100 years ago!

The yellow line in particular is a bit of a sore spot for me, though, since it runs through many of the places I went most often and the Fradique Coutinho station will be 2 blocks from my old apartment. The deadline for finishing it was pushed back waaaaay too many times, then they finally opened up ONE station and it was only open for about 4 hours a day. Now there are just two and absolutely no date set for the others. It's hard to find much information about WHY those delays kept happening, but a lot of people blame it on the fact that the Yellow line was actually outsourced.

Those deadlines seem to plague other cities, too, though. I remember when I lived in Lisbon in 2006, my 2004 guidebook referred to a new station as already being open and it actually didn't open until 2008 :) In their defense it was a station right next to the river and it collapsed and flooded multiple times--a bit like what happened with the Pinheiros tragedy.

The proposed orange line will run through Perdizes and there is supposed to be a station for Pacaembu (but the wealthy residents around there are putting up a fight).

Another thing, though, is I almost never had to change lines in Centro during rush hour. Friends of mine who do that have less positive things to say about the metro. Luz and Sé are overcrowded and you'll often wait through several trains before being able to squeeze on (and good luck getting OFF at one of those stations). Those problems should clear up some as new, intersecting lines are completed and people can change lines at more places.

OK, that's enough about the SP metro system. I kind of love it and look forward to seeing what it will become.

Ray and Gil said...


Yes, the Bus Lords have ruled Sao Paulo for way too long, they did take a few blows in the 90's with the "Workers" party coming into power and the legalization of the "van services","lotacao" in parts of the suburbs.
The bus lords got a little smarter lately and have improved bus service considerably in the past couple decades. Bus service in Sao Paulo was really bad in the late 70's and 80's.
But I dream with the day that the subway make them completely and utterly redundant and extinguished for good.
The more we free ourselves from diesel pollution the better/more pleasant the city gets.


Jana said...

Agreed, I love the subway here! It is amazingly clean and efficient, I just wish the buses were the same or, that I could get to the places I need to by subway rather than bus! Cheers to SP!

Born Again Brazilian said...

I've been wanting to try the subway! Now I'm definitely going to this week.

Chassidy said...

This is great!