Lonely Planet Writer

New RioCard to offer unlimited access to public transport during Olympics

Olympic host city, Rio de Janeiro, is introducing a RioCard offering unlimited travel on the city’s public transportation systems during the games next month and the Paralympics in September.

Rio is offering special city travel arrangements for the duration of the Olympic Games which begin next month and the Paralympic Games which take place in September
Rio is offering special city travel arrangements for the duration of the Olympic Games which begin next month and the Paralympic Games which take place in September Image by Jon Curnow / CC BY 2.0

The new card is expected to be a popular purchase by the expected 500,000 tourists in early August as it allows easy access across Rio’s public travel routes. Tourists have special visa exemption for the duration of the games.

Rio will be the place to be with up to half a million visitors arriving in the city for the Olympic Games in August
Rio’s transport will accommodate up to half a million visitors during the upcoming Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Image by Louis Gadelha Jr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The 2016 RioCard can be bought as a one-day, three-day or a seven-day ticket. The one-day card will cost R$25 while the three-day is pegged at R$70 with the seven-day costing R$160. The three and seven-day cards will apply only on consecutive days.

Maracana Stadium, Rio de Jeneiro,will be accessible for the city's expected half million visitors on the RioCard Image: Davide Greco
Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro,will be accessible to visitors on the RioCard Image: Davide Greco

The Rio Times reports that unlimited travel will only be available during the times of the actual Olympics and Paralympics.

The non-transferable cards will allow holders to journey on buses, BRT, trains and metro. Two of Rio’s newest transportation projects – The Metro Line 4 and the TransOlímpica BRT line – which link the city’s biggest Olympic sites, are among the modes accepting the new method of payment.

City authorities have not yet decided if the unlimited travel will be given the green light on the light rail transport – the VLT.

However, it will not be available for either executive buses or for business-class travel. It also will not be accepted on ferry boats, intercity buses or cable cars.

The executive secretary of the Government Coordination, Rafael Picciani said the card was the idea of the organizing committee. It would give safer and more comfortable transport without the need of having to buy extra tickets.

If a visitor has a single day use card and is attending an event that may go past midnight into a second day, a two-hour tolerance window will be in place.

The Olympic Games begin on 5 August and continue until 21 August. They will be followed by the Paralympic Games which take place between 7 and 18 September.