How to ride on a Florence city bus is quite simple. Be sure to purchase a ticket before get on. The bus drivers can sell you a ticket but it will cost you €2,00 as opposed to €1,20. And sometimes the bus drivers won’t sell them to you since they are busy driving. I suggest buying a ticket in a tabaccheria(tobacco shop), bar and/or an edicola(newstand) which are always nearby any busy bus stop.
There are a variety of tickets you can purchase when riding the buses or tram in Florence. 1 ride good for 90 minutes (un biglietto) costs €1,20, 4 ride good for 4 rides for 90 minutes(un multi-plu) costs €4,70. 10, 90 minute rides (Carta AGILE, €10,00), 21, 90 minute rides (Carta AGILE, €20,00), 35, 90 minute rides (Carta AGILE, €30,00).
There is also a new option as of March 2011. You can send a text message to ATAF and receive a ticket confirmation number. How it works: you must register on the site Bemoov (www.bemoov.it) with a credit card number. Then when you see the bus arriving, text ‘Ataf’ to the number ‘339 994 1264’. Wait a few seconds and you will receive a text message with a confirmation number good for 90 minutes costing only 1,20. This option is very useful when you have to take the bus after all the bars, tabaccherie and edicole are closed.
You can venture on and off any bus or tram in the city in the allotted 90 minutes without stamping another. How to validate your tickets (SMS ticket you can’t validate on the bus): once you enter the bus you must validate your ticket in this machine.(ticket machine picture on bus) If you are using a Carta AGILE you just wave the card in front of it where it says AGILE.
The Tram line 1 or T1 runs every 8 minutes. The T1 starts from SMN station and ends in Scandicci (Villa Costanza). Like I mentioned before, you can use the same tickets on the Tramvia as the buses. The machines are quite different in the Tram than the buses. I should say, they are newer. They look like this:(tram ticket machine picture).
Riding the bus or tram can be an adventure. Be sure you know which stop you need to get off on. The bus drivers don’t speak much English. You can just tell the bus driver the landmark or street name if you need to be sure. They can then tell you when to get off. Be sure to stay close to the front of the bus so you can hear him when he signals to you to get off the bus. Remember to thank him too. They aren’t tour guides.
Photo Credit: Nove da Firenze,