The public bus in Tehran
How to travel to Iran?
There are three kind of buses in Tehran. The traditional ones, the BRT (Bus Rapid Transportation) and the minibuses. Buses will take you almost everywhere you want in every city of Iran. The problem is that there is not global map of the network in Tehran and it’s pretty hard to find the good bus when needed. Everybody knows more or less the lines regarding his needs and habits but no one has a global vision. The easiest way to find your way is to ask to bystanders.
BRT or Bus Rapid Transit
These buses have their own line among the busy roads of Tehran and are a good way to move around quite fast. You’ll easily recognize them with their long size and their red color, you’ll easily cross the city in less than one hour. You’ll mostly find them on the main axes and big roads (highways) of the capital. Don’t forget your transportation magnetic card as you need it to use these buses. You can’t pay with cash.
You’ll see plenty of minibuses around the capital of Iran but it’s almost impossible to know where they go unless you read or speak farsi. Old, they will stop wherever you want if it’s on their way. Don’t hesitate to make a sign with your hand to stop one of these big old cars that breathe a big black smoke that asphyxiate the poor bystanders walking around. To get off, just ask the driver and try to find your way among the crowd to the small door. As you probably understood, minibuses are not the best way to travel around Tehran. Price : You need to pay in cash the driver before getting down (usually the price is 5000 or 7000 Rials.
What about men and women? Do they have to be separated?
In all buses, men and women are separated. That said, if you’re a couple or even just friends from the opposite sex moving around together, you can sit together in the buses but not the BRT. As a man can never go in the women only area, the woman has to come and seat among men. Be careful, if you travel in BRT, that’s not possible and both sexes have to travel separated. Be sure you agree on your destination as if the BRT is crowded (as it’s often), you’ll not be able to discuss. Don’t worry, Iranian will be glad to help you find your station. For minibuses, like shared taxis, men and women are not separated. That said, avoid to seat next to someone from the other sex. It’s common to see a man standing if the only seat available is next to a woman. However, the only seat available is next to a man and a woman is standing, the man will stand up and let the woman seat down leaving a seat free.