RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This week we had some great news about the Rio 2016 programs moving forward. There has been so much talk about the state of the 2014 World Cup preparations, the Olympics – happening 2 years later – is naturally getting less press/pressure. But with the PAC funding starting to be unleashed, it is exciting to think what changes will come of it.
Rio has already undergone so much change in the last couple years; the favela pacification efforts, the UPPs, the Ficha Limpa anti-corruption efforts, the public servant strikes, the Shock and Order program and the UOP presence, the BRS transit lines, and on and on.
When we look at the new transportation system programs starting, imagine how much change that will bring. The new funding (just a taste of funding to come) is for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line on Avenida Brasil, known as the “Transbrasil” and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in Centro. These will be great I imagine.
But that is just one part of a new, four-line, High Performance Transportation Ring, which aims to expand the high-capacity transportation coverage rate from the current eighteen percent to 63 percent by 2016.
The other three lines are: the Transcarioca, which is already under construction, linking Barra, (which will host more than fifty percent of the sporting competitions), to the Tom Jobim International Airport; the Transoeste (also under construction, connecting Barra to the Santa Cruz and Campo Grande areas); and the Transolimpica (which will link Barra to Deodoro and is currently being tendered).
There is some controversy over forced evictions and relocation to make way for the construction, and we certainly hope the best for people put out. But imagine how the city will be changed by some of these projects. This Transcarioca actually looks like a rail system by the design, but it is actually a special bus lane often running on its own roadway.