Getting Around Rome by Buses

"Getting Around Rome by Buses" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

Getting Around Rome by Buses, Italy

There are hundreds of bus lines, running from 5.30am until midnight. A complex network of over 200 bus lines covers the whole urban and suburban areas of Rome, although the effectiveness of the service is heavily affected by the city's traffic, especially in central districts.

The vast majority of buses don't run on a schedule, so you never really know when they are showing up. In the historic center, you don't usually have to wait too long, unless you're tired and it's raining.

Bus stops all have yellow signs or a white background that indicate which buses stop there, and their hours. Daytime buses run from 5:30 AM to midnight. Most buses do not operate on schedule, so do not expect to catch a bus at a specific time, but a select few do.

All bus lines are indicated by numbers. In recent years, a colour code system has been introduced to describe their features, and ordinary lines are now being changed accordingly. All bus lines are indicated by numbers and colours. A colour code scheme describes the type of line. All colours but one, (red), also have a matching logo, as shown below, which is featured in the bus stop board. In addition to the usual bus lines recognizable by a U letter on a blue background, the city Bus Lines are the following:

Rome Buses

hundreds of bus lines in Rome
In general, about 1/5 of the buses in Rome have facilities for the transportation of wheel-chairs. These buses carry the international sign on their front.

Rome is a very safe city, but you do have to watch out for pickpockets on crowded buses and metro train. Carry your money or documents in a secure bag or money belt in front of you and always keep an eye on where other people's hands are!

Bus Stop Circulation Board

Bus stops have yellow (sometimes white) signs with each bus line in a column on the sign. Each column will show all the stops for that line, with the current stop in a red rectangle. The type of bus will also be noted at the top: Express (stops infrequently), Urbano (normal), Notturno (night). Metro stops and train stations will also be noted.

At the bottom of each column, you'll find the hours for that bus line.

Except exact and night lines, all the others do not show their time schedule: they do set off at given hours, but the heavy traffic would make it very difficult to reach every stop at the right time.
Bus Stop Board
However, a great majority of lines have rides ranging from one every 5 mins. to one every 25-30 mins., according to the time (higher frequency at peak hours) and to the districts covered by the line (central neighborhoods, or areas not directly reached by subways are usually better served). Furthermore, often two or more different lines may be taken from the same stop to reach a given spot, so the wait for a bus is never too long.

On Sundays buses are scarcer than during the rest of the week. The daytime bus service starts around 5:00 or 5:30 AM, depending on the different lines, and ends around 11:30 PM-0:00, when it switches over to the night service. The hour of the last ordinary ride is usually stated on the board. Night service lines have a scheduled timetable, shown on the sign's board. Night rides are less frequent than during daytime, about one every 30 minutes.

Sometimes bus stops need to be moved temporarily for various reasons. In that case, you'll find a round sign stating " la fermata stata spostata " (the stop has been moved). It will usually be ahead on the route and sometimes the sign will say how far. At the temporary stop, there will be a sign that usually just says fermata and sometimes the bus lines are written in by hand.

Tour Buses Circulation
The circulation of tour buses in Rome is regulated according to the "Piano Pullman" ("coach plan") of the Municipality of Rome. The city has been divided into two big "Zone a Traffico Limitato" ("limited traffic areas"):

Traveling Italy through bus is cheaper and hassle-free than any other forms of transportation like private cars as the country is short of sufficient car parking spaces. Moreover, people in Italy prefer to move about in buses as they reach even the remote destinations where other transports don't. The private Bus Services in Italy actually connect the far-flung villages with the modern amenities and glamor of Italian urban lifestyle. Buses get very crowded because they are the main way of transportation around Rome, so do not expect to get a seat every time.

For more information about public transportation call 800.431.784. (Toll free in service 8am - 6pm Mon - Fri). All buses that circulate inside the Ring Road must register and display the permit. All information on check points, parkings, rates and reservations is available at www.atac.roma.it . Also Check Guide for buses/coaches in Rome

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