Buses provide the most reliable and inexpensive means for public transportation and knowledge about the bus services in the city will give you an alternative option when you are unable to find a taxi on the street. Besides, riding on a bus will give you a better view of the urban sights when you navigate around the city.
Chengdu has about 300 bus lines. Bus fares are usually at 1 yuan or 2 yuan (air-conditioned bus), relatively cheap compared with the subway and taxi. As for some routes running longer distances routes, i.e. with commuting buses from the downtown to the suburb, an extra 1-2 yuan will be added to the fares depending on how far you go.
Most buses running around the city are self-service ones, without conductors. Generally, you should get aboard from the front door and drop the fare into box beside the driver.
1. It’s advisable to keep some small change for riding on the no-conductor buses. The boxes do not provide change and the drivers are not allowed to handle cash.
2. You will see several yellow seats on each bus. They are reserved for senior citizens, small children, the sick, disabled and pregnant women.
Public Transportation IC Card
A transportation IC card will give you an extra convenience and money-saving if you plan to stay longer in the city and travel more extensively around it.
There are four kinds of public transportation IC card in Chengdu, i.e. the general and those for the old, students and staff. For most foreigners, you just can apply for the general. Students cards are especially for high school students and primary school students to use.
Transportation IC card are discounted in two way: one is 50% discount (just for bus, not for the subway); the other is 10% discount. The former is called “time-counting card” as the charged amount is deducted for each ride, but the remaining amount will be automatically zero cleared at the end of the month. The other one option is called “the electronic wallet” that only provides a 10% discount but the charge will not be automatically cleared till it runs out.
It’s very convenient to apply for the card and to recharge. All you need to do is to prepare 20 yuan for deposit and go to the specific points, such as most subway stations and the Hongqi Chain Store (convenience stores that can be found everywhere around the city), where you can ask shop assistants to help you for application and recharge.
Inter-city Bus Stations
If you want to take the bus to visit nearby cities, the brief information about Chengdu inter-city buss stations can be helpful.
Chadianzi Bus Station
Buses mainly head for scenic spots in western and northern Sichuan.
Add: North 3rd Ring Road
Wuguiqiao Bus Station
Buses mainly head for Chongqing, Neijiang and Yibin.
Add: Yinhui Road
Xin Nanmen Bus Station
The tourism bus station of Chengdu. Bus routes cover the surrounding areas of Chengdu and the well-known scenic spots in Sichuan.
Add: Xinnan Road
Shiyangchang Bus Station
Buses mainly start from Chengdu to the south via Leshan, Mt.Emei, Ya’an, etc.
Add: Yixin Avenue, Wuhou District