The buses tend to stop running by 8.00PM, so get the bus before that, but at night it's tuk-tuks or taxis. I'd say tuk tuk for a short trip only, as they aren't the comfiest things.
I agree with Daniel P that the bus is an experience in itself.
We will get a tuk tuk at some point for our friends to experience it but will also get the bus for the experience.
We did Calungute to Panjim a few years ago and I swear you couldn't have fitted the skinniest of people on there, it was that packed, but somehow and I still don't know how, the 'conductor' still managed to get around to collect the fares.
It was an eye-opener for sure!
Agree the buses are a great way to travel, make sure you have small change for bus fare coins & small notes. You will soon be accomustomed to being as rude as the local travelers, you push & shove to get on the bus & grab a seat as soon as you can, no respect of age, gender just grab your seat, a seat for 2 will be taken by at least 3. 12 standing you must be jokeing more like 30 & they still get more on then you have the fun of getting off the bus at your stop. In saying all that I have traveled on the local buses many times over the years & it may not sound like it but good fun & another GREAT experiance to put down to Goa. Wonderful Place.
I don't think I would feel very safe in a TUK TUK on very busy roads myself had a few scary seconds in a Taxi.Use them for short trips in the villages though ...
JOE T.My 1st time on the village bus to Margoa was Christmas 19 years ago.Music for the trip JIM REEVES Christmas songs ..PRICELESS Loved it ..