There are four different kinds of public transport in Rome. The metro system consists of 3 lines, although one of these is not really ready yet. Most tram lines are not important for tourists since they go around the center, but hardly enter it. There is an extensive network of bus lines, however, which will get you to any part of the city. Lastly, there are also some train lines that are considered part of the Rome public transport network.
Public Transport Rome
Most public transport inside Rome is run by the company ATAC. Some bus lines in the outskirts are run by the company TPL. Buses traveling to destinations in the province of Rome and the rest of the Latium region are mostly run by a company called Co.Tra.L.
There is an ATAC information office on the Piazza dei Cinquecento outside the main railway station Termini.
Tickets, what to buy and where to buy them
Rome’s public transportation system consists of metro, tram, bus and even some trains, which can all be used with the same tickets: 1,50 Euro for a normal ticket, 7 Euro for a 24-hour pass, 12,50 Euros for a 48 hour pass, 18 Euros for a 72-hour tourist pass and 24 Euros for a weekly ticket. A monthly pass is 35 Euros and a yearly transportation ticket (Metrebus Card) costs 250 Euros.
Tickets for public transport in Rome can never be bought on the bus or tram itself. Traditionally, they are for sale at tobacco shops and newspaper stands, nowadays small grocery stores sometimes also sell them. Metro stations have vending machines. The 1,50 Euro ticket and the 35 Euro monthly Pass can also be purchased via the MyCicero App, downloadable from the official ATAC website.
The ticket, on buses and trams, needs to be validated as soon as you enter. You do this by sticking it in a slot in one of the small yellow machines near the entrances. When the machines don’t work, you need to write the date and time, plus the stop where you entered on your ticket. You do not need to show your ticket to the driver. Sometimes, conductors come on the bus and check your tickets. This only happens very rarely, so it may be tempting to cheat, but remember that fines can be steep.
There are 3 metro lines, A, B (which, as of June 13, 2012 also has an extension called B1) and C. These run between 5.30 AM and 11.30 PM (but on Fridays and Saturdays until 1.30 AM). Line A is sometimes also called the “red line”, line B the “blue line” and line C the “green” line. The trains on line C are driverless.
Part of the new line C was opened in November 2014, but this line is more important for commuters than for most tourists. The first stop is at San Giovanni and from there it travels to the outskirts of town.
City buses in Rome
There are different kinds of city buses. The normal ones are indicated with the letter “U”. So-called Express buses, that only follow main routes, but skip many stops, are indicated with the letter “E”, and night buses with the letter “N”. There are also some small electric buses, necessary for the narrow streets in the historic center. The buses start running at 5.30 and continue till midnight.
From midnight until 5.30 AM there are only night buses (27 different lines). Unfortunately these are not very regular and usually packed with people.
The various companies that provide connections to the Fiumicino and Ciampino airports are private.
Rome bus and metro strikes
No public transport strikes have been announced at the moment. Strikes are very common, though.
Christmas and New year’s public transportation in Rome
- December 24th: Metro, bus and tram stop running at 9 PM.
- December 25th: The metro will run from 8 AM until 1 PM. Buses will run from 8 AM until 1 PM and the from 4.30 until 9 PM.
- December 26th: Rome’s public transport will follow a Sunday schedule today, so everything will run as usual, albeit with a lower frequency.
- December 31st: The metro will run from 5.30 AM until 2.30 AM. Buses and trams will only run until 9 PM, though.