By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As hundreds of thousands Carnival revelers prepare to descend on Rio’s streets for the famous blocos and parades at the Sapucaí in the Sambódromo, officials have announced a special metro (subway) schedule as well as access points and even an app to help plan the best routes.
During the five days of Carnival, MetrôRio trains will run continuously from 5AM on Friday, February 24th until 11PM on Tuesday February 28th, according to a government news report.
There will be various stations with extended hours and certain areas bracing for massive bloco crowds will have specified entrance points. Pre-bought cards, and return trip fares, are recommended to avoid long lines.
City officials say MetrôRio is the best option for those who will enjoy the parades at Sapucaí in the Sambódromo. Those who will attend the parade in the odd-side seating sectors should choose to disembark at the Central station. The Praça Onze station is the closest one for passengers who have bought tickets for the even-numbered sectors.
For those planning to attend the hundreds of blocos spread throughout the city during the Carnival period, an important note is that the Cinelândia Station in Centro will only allow boarding of passengers holding cards bought in advance from 6AM to 8PM.
Another change for Carnival is that from 10AM on Saturday (February 25th), the trains of Line 2 will take the direct route between Pavuna and General Osório station in Ipanema, without the need of transfer between the two lines.
Also in Ipanema, between Saturday and Tuesday, the entrance points of Complexo Rubem Braga and Sá Ferreira at the General Osório station will be open exclusively for passengers with pre-purchased cards (unit and pre-paid cards of MetrôRio, RioCard cards, Transportation Ticket and Single Ticket).
Those who do not have these cards will be able to buy at the main box office near the main entrance, in General Osório Square. Also those who wish to board Line 4 (connecting to Barra) should use the Complexo Rubem Braga entrance. The Lagoa access will work normally during all the days of the party with sale at the box office.
Tourism operator Facu Espinosa of Rio Hunter, explains how the Metro can be helpful during Carnival, “I think the metro is the best option to move around the city. It is easy, organized and fast.”
He adds, “During Carnival it gets really crowded and there are huge lines to buy tickets. I totally recommend buying tickets upfront or getting the RioCard, which you can get at any station booth. You can charge R$50 and be ready for the Carnival.”
Find out more about the various changes across the city at the MetrôRio website, which has a version in English, and they even have an app for free download.
The site also features a guide that shows which stops are closest to which major blocos by each day, including a timetable for walking from the metro station to the bloco.