Bahia is a beautiful region in Brazil, amazing beaches, people and food. Some tourist choose the easy way to go around: taxis and private transportation. As we were staying with locals we also went around as locals so we took the bus to move around the area.
I totally recommend it, you just need to know some tips on how it works and you are good to go. Prices are cheap for a European pocket, from 1 euro per person one way ticket, the official prices are listed in the omnibuses/vans that take you so you can always check what will cost.
There are different kind of buses, big ones, little ones but all of them will shout out where they are going so pay attention to what they say otherwise you might miss the bus.
They shout the final stop but if you are going on the same direction ask the driver if they stop where you want to go. For example, buses that go from Praia do Forte to Salvador de Bahia, go down the coast and they will stop in Arembepe or Guarajuba if you ask them to.
Do not expect that they shout the different stops, so pay attention how many kilometers there are from where you take the bus and where you are getting off. You can also ask the driver or the cashier and they will let you know.
See below the official prices as of Bahia February 2014 for every bus transport line:
The official bus stop is a wooden structure with seats, wait there in the direction you want to go and listen to the driver when they open the doors to see where they are going.
You will notice that Brazilians are bit “special” when talking about bus stops, people do not wait in the bus stop but some of them wait whenever and bus stops in front of them.
Due to these additional stops that are convenient to the person waiting in front of his house for the bus the travel can be very long some times. The bus might stop 3 or 4 times in a short period of time to pick up all those people waiting in different parts of the road.
The bus line that crosses Bahia cost is called Linha Verde, it goes from Porto Sauipe to Salvador de Bahia, stoping in all towns in between. Linha Branca is the competitor of Linha verde, doing a similar route around the coast. These two lines are the official lines in Bahia.
There are also illegal vans doing the same routes and stopping at the bus stop with similar prices, take into account that the legal ones have the name on the outside and the drivers and cashiers wear uniform so you can distinguish them.