Automobiles are still the main means to get into the city. In March 2011, more than 7 million vehicles were registered. Heavy traffic is common on the city's main avenues and traffic jams are relatively common on its highways.
The city is crossed by 10 major motorways:
From the 1940s to the 1980s, many roads and buildings were built without major planning. Ex-governor Mário Covas sponsored a ring road that circles the city, called Rodoanel Mario Covas, and is being built by DERSA.
The two major São Paulo railway stations are Luz and Julio Prestes in the Luz/Campos Eliseos region. Luz is the seat of the Santos-Jundiaí line which historically transported international immigrants from the Santos port to São Paulo and the coffee plantation lands in the Western region of Campinas. Julio Prestes connected Southwest São Paulo State and Northern Paraná State to São Paulo. Agricultural products were transferred to Luz Station from which they headed to the Atlantic ocean and overseas. Julio Prestes stopped transporting passengers through the Sorocabana or FEPASA lines and now only has limited suburban service. Due to its acoustics and interior beauty, surrounded by Greek revival columns, part of the rebuilt station was transformed into the São Paulo Hall.
Luz Station was built in Britain and assembled in Brazil. It has an underground station and is still very active with east and westbound suburban trains that link São Paulo to the Greater São Paulo region to the East and the Campinas Metropolitan region in Jundiaí in the western part of the State. Besides housing the interactive Museu da Língua Portuguesa (Portuguese Language Museum), Luz Station is surrounded by important cultural institutions such as the Pinacoteca do Estado, The Museu de Arte Sacra on Tiradentes Avenue and Jardim da Luz, among others.
Although poorly maintained by heavy rail services, a high-speed railway service is proposed to link São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The trains are projected to reach, taking about 90 minutes.
Another important project is the "Expresso Bandeirantes," a medium-speed rail service (about 160 km/h) from São Paulo to Campinas, which would reduce the journey time from 90 minutes by car to about 50 minutes, linking São Paulo, Jundiaí, Campinas Airport and Campinas city center. This service is also to connect to the railway service between São Paulo city center and Guarulhos Airport. Work on an express railway service between São Paulo city center and Guarulhos International Airport were announced by the São Paulo state government in 2007.
São Paulo has two main airports, São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport for international flights and Congonhas-São Paulo Airport for domestic and regional flights. Another airport, the Campo de Marte Airport, serves light aircraft. The three airports together moved 42,617,779 passengers in 2010, making São Paulo one of the top 20 busiest in the world, by number of air passenger movements. The region of Greater São Paulo is also served by São José dos Campos Airport and Viracopos-Campinas International Airport.
Congonhas Airport operates flights mainly to Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasília. In the latest upgrade, eight boarding bridges were installed to provide more comfort to passengers by eliminating the need to walk in the open to their flights. The terminal area was expanded from 37.3 thousand to over 51 thousand square meters. This expansion was to satisfy current demand rather than to raise capacity. Built in the 1930s, it was designed to handle 6 million passengers a year and was struggling to handle 12 million instead.
Guarulhos International, also known as "Cumbica" is north-east of the city center, in the neighbouring city of Guarulhos. Every day nearly 100 thousand people pass through the airport, which connects Brazil to 28 countries around the world. 370 companies operate there, generating 53 thousand jobs. With capacity to serve 15 million passengers a year, in two terminals, the airport currently handles 32 million users.
Construction of a third passenger terminal is pending, to raise yearly capacity to more than 45 million passengers. The project, in the financing phase, is part of the airport’s master plan and will get under way shortly. São Paulo International Airport is also the main air cargo hubs in Brazil. The roughly 100 flights a day carry everything from fruits grown in the São Francisco Valley to locally manufactured medicine. The airport's cargo terminal is South America's largest. In 2003, over 75 thousand metric tons of freight passed through the terminal.
Campo de Marte is located in Santana district, the northern zone of São Paulo. The airport handles small aircraft, including air taxi firms. Opened in 1935, Campo de Marte is the base for the largest helicopter fleet in Brazil. It has no scheduled service, but its terminal is equipped with a snack bar, restaurant and bank branch. This airport is the home base of the State Civil Police Air Tactical Unit, the State Military Police Radio Patrol Unit and the São Paulo Flying Club.
Largely using this airport, prosperous passengers take advantage of some one hundred remote helipads and heliports to conveniently bypass heavy road traffic. Campo de Marte also hosts the Ventura Goodyear Blimp.
São Paulo has three rapid transport systems:
The city currently has of rail operated by three companies. The São Paulo Metro operates of underground railway systems ( fully underground) locally known as the Metrô), with 5 lines in operation and 59 stations. Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM, or "Paulista Company of Metropolitan Trains") railway add . The third company is Via4. The underground and railway lines carry some 7 million people on an average weekday. New underground lines are expected to move another million people per day within the next five years. The projects would expand São Paulo's urban railway system from the current to more than on the next 10 years, surpassing the London Underground.
São Paulo has no tram lines, although trams were common in the first half of the 20th century. São Paulo's underground train system is overcrowded, but was certified by the NBR ISO 9001. It has five lines and links to the metropolitan train network.
The São Paulo Metro last year reached the mark of 11.5 million passengers on mile of line, 15% higher than in 2008, when 10 million users were taken per mile. It is the largest concentration of people in a single transport system in the world, according to the company.
While the total number of passengers increased, satisfaction decreased. The survey "The Metro according to its user: a service evaluation" of last year showed that 60% of respondents rated the means of transport as "very good" and "good." In 2009, the notes were 67% positive.
Bus transport (government and private) is composed of approximately 17,000 buses (including about 290 trolley buses). The traditional system of informal transport (dab vans) was later reorganized and legalized under a consistent set of rules.
São Paulo Tietê Bus Terminal is the second largest bus terminal in the world. It serves localities across the nation, with the exception of the states of Amazonas, Roraima and Amapá. Routes to 1,010 cities in five countries (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay) are available. It connects to all regional airports and a ride sharing automobile service to Santos.
The Palmeiras-Barra Funda Intermodal Terminal is much smaller and is connected to the Palmeiras-Barra Funda metro and Palmeiras-Barra Funda CPTM stations. It serves the southwestern cities of Sorocaba, Itapetininga, Itu, Botucatu, Bauru, Marília, Jaú, Avaré, Piraju, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, Ipaussu, Chavantes and Ourinhos (on the border with Paraná State). It also serves São José do Rio Preto, Araçatuba and other small towns located on the northwest of São Paulo State.
Buses to São Paulo coast are available at the Jabaquara metro station, which is the final southbound stop on Line 1 (Blue) of the São Paulo Metro. The Litoral bus terminal serves Praia Grande, Santos and São Vicente on the South Shore and Mongaguá, Bertioga and Guarujá on the North Shore. Buses to North Shore cities such as Maresia, Riviera de São Lourenço, Caraguatatuba, Ubatuba and Paraty, in Rio de Janeiro State must be taken at the Tietê Bus Terminal, at Portuguesa-Tietê metro station on Line 1 (Blue).
On 26 October 2013, Hundreds of people have attacked the bus station in São Paulo, setting fire to a bus and destroying cash and ticket machines. At least six people have been arrested in the protests.
São Paulo has the largest number of helicopters in the world. The second and third positions are of New York City and Tokyo. With 420 helicopters in 2012 and around 2,000 flights per day within the central area, the city is turning into a "real life South-American episode" of The Jetsons.
Helicopters enable businessmen and other affluent workers to sharply reduce time spent moving around and commuting. Some companies own their helicopters, others lease them and still others use helicopter taxi services. One suburban helicopter shuttle service, located about from the center of the city in Tamboré, is operated totally by women, including its pilots.
Praca Julio Prestes, 16
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