Buses in Fortaleza
Buses in Fortaleza are very uncomfortable, for American and European standards; most buses have no air-conditioning and seats are rough.
In most buses, passengers get on through the back door, pay the collector, get to the front of the bus, get off through the front door. Buses are supposed to follow a time schedule, but this is not reliable.
Bus is the main means of transportation of the working class in Fortaleza. Taking a bus is an excellent means of getting in contact with the real way of life of people of Fortaleza.
In 2006, the fare was R$ 1.60, or about US$ 0.70; because buses are used by the masses, the Government tries to keep the fare at the minimum possible.
The area between Iracema and Mucuripe is well served by buses, and there have been no report of robberies; Praia do Futuro is easy to access by bus, but some people have advised to use taxis, instead.
Some important bus lines
Probably the most important bus lines for tourists are Circular 1 and Circular 2; these lines make for easy transportation between the urban beaches of Iracema, Meireles and Mucuripe.
Both lines cover a ring around the city, but in opposite directions.
Circular 1 follows the shore line from South to North, from Mucuripe to Iracema, on the downtown and back to Mucuripe.
Circular 2 goes from North to South, from Iracema to Mucuripe, on to dowtown (passing by the Shopping Iguatemi) and then back to Iracema.
Both the Circulars run along the Avenida da Abolição, a parallel to the beach avenue (urban beaches are not allowed to drive along the main avenue Beira-Mar); Circular 1 and Circular 2 alone allow easy travelling along the main urban beaches.
Notice that there are also the lines Grande Circular 1 and Grande Circular 2; these follow routes similar to the Circulars, but covering larger rings.
To get to Praia do Futuro and back, take bus Caça e Pesca. Notice, however, that to get to Praia do Futuro at night, it is advisable to take taxis instead of buses.
To get from the main bus station to the beaches area: leave the bus station and get across avenida Borges de Melo; go to the bus stop in from of Telemar (a major phone company); take the bus # 78 Siqueira Mucuripe. This bus serves only Meireles and Mucuripe; there is no direct bus from the bus station to Iracema; it is possible though, to get off the bus at Meireles and either walk to Iracema or take bus Circular 1.
There is no direct bus from the airport to the beaches area. To go from the airport to the beaches, do the following: leave the airport and take the elevator to the lower pavement; take bus 404 Aeroporto - Benfica; ask the driver to get off at avenida Treze de Maio; at this avenue, take either Circular 1 or Grande Circular 1.
The Urban Transportation Company of Fortaleza maintains an excellent page about the bus lines. Click here to get to the page; in the first menu 'Selecione a Consulta', use 'Itinerário da Linha', then click 'Pesquisar' (leave the field in the middle blank) and it will show all the bus lines in the city; select a line and its full route will be displayed.
If you use the second option 'Linhas do Logradouro', you must input the name of the street you are interested, and the system will display all lines serving that street.