UMR Index



Score: 40.3%

Sustainable Mobility


Arrow up

Score: 40.2%

Public Transit


Arrow up

Score: 43.1%

Population 22.9 million
Surface area (km2) 3,649
Population-density (people/km2) 6,263
GDP per capita ($) 17,803
Select Filter

What Sao Paulo Does Well in Urban Mobility

Walking and public transit are popular modes of transportation with few residents owning a car. That allows the city to contain car-related emissions and ensure clean air.

Sao Paulo is connected by a strong multimodal network, including the region's largest urban rail network, and has bike-friendly rules on public transportation.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for Sao Paulo’s Transportation System

Sao Paulo has a network of undermaintained roads with limited cycling infrastructure and insufficient traffic enforcement, discouraging the use of bikes. However, the city plans to develop 140 kilometers (87 miles) of new bike lanes by 2024.

Residents complain of high levels of noise and light pollution typically associated with the city’s relatively high traffic congestion. To address this issue, Brazil has implemented various policies to regulate noise in public spaces and at night, but additional efforts are needed.

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How Sao Paulo Can Improve Its Public Transportation

With relatively high fares compared with household income, Sao Paulo underperforms its regional peers on affordability. To help close the gap, the city can provide government-backed subsidies for transit fares. This can be accomplished in multiple ways, including lowering fares for everyone, lowering fares on an income basis, or selling long-term passes (monthly or quarterly, for example) that discount fares for regular transit users.

Sao Paulo's bus riders often struggle with long commutes due to low transit speeds. In the last few years, Sao Paulo developed its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network by building additional bus lanes across the city with the aim of doubling bus speeds. To improve, the city can expand its BRT to further decrease traffic slowdowns. Adding bus lanes is an efficient and effective way to shorten travel times for commuters. In the long term, Sao Paulo can continue to invest in automated transit by expanding driverless trains to more metro lines to increase its speed and efficiency.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores