With the largest population of any South American city, San Paulo requires the largest bus terminal in South America, and Tiete Bus Terminal is exactly that, covering an area of 120,000 square metres and containing 65 different bus companies. It is the primary transport hub of the city and one of the most important in both the country of Brazil and the rest of the continent, as the second largest in the world, after the Port Authority Terminal in New York. Primarily a transport hub for buses, it also contains a metro and train station, linking to over 1,000 different cities, it contains 89 arrival and departure bus platforms and is located in the Santana district of the city.
Tiete Bus Terminal operates all day every day, employees about 300 workers and circulated 3,000 buses and 90,000 people everyday, providing transport to the greater areas of San Paulo and beyond, to as far as Uruguay, Chile and Argentina. Visitors can use the terminal by viewing the arrivals and departures screen, which provides detailed information on the different buses, or asking at an information desk, checking luggage at the baggage counter and walking to the separate platforms. In addition to transport services, there are also over 50 shops as the terminal, selling gifts, magazines, books and snacks, as well as multiple food facilities, ATMS, a pharmacy, post office and travel agency. Visitors can also use the free Wi-Fi and charging stations for phones and laptops, and there is even a garden within the terminal, containing over 40 different species of tree and covering 37,000 square metres, for visitors to walk in or relax.
Located 25 kilometres from downtown San Paulo, Tiete Bus Terminal is a 40-minute journey to the city centre, and visitors can also reach Guarulhos International Airport, which is less than 30 kilometres away. Airport bus services run to the bus terminal and local buses travel to it from the city centre, but visitors can alternatively ride the subway to the Portuguesa -Tiete station, or take a taxi. Long-distance travellers can use the Tiete Bus Terminal or the terminal train station.
Tiete Bus Terminal opened on 9th May 1982. Since 2002, the terminal has a new check-in system that works like an airport, where visitors can get their boarding pass and check luggage at a counter before travelling on long distance services.