By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio’s metro (subway) operator, MetrôRio and the popular local taxi and car hailing mobile application, 99, have just announced a new joint promotional discount metrocard, MetrôRio 99, that will provide discounts for users of both services.
The new MetrôRio 99 metrocard, launched this past weekend and now available at all metro stations, costs R$20 and offers a total of five subway rides. Each individual subway ride normally costs R$4.30.
In addition to the subway discount, cardholders will be entitled to a R$4 discount on five taxi or private car rides requested through the 99 app.
“This is a MetrôRio initiative to give more convenience and improve the experience of our customers,” exclaimed MetrôRio president, Guilherme Ramalho. “In addition to speed, reliability, and security, we worked to innovate and provide new forms of interconnection modes and means of payment, beyond the train operation and stations.”
Each MetrôRio 99 metrocard comes with a personal and non-transferable discount code on the back of each card. Once exiting the metro station, card users can register the code with the mobile 99 app and use it to hail a taxi or private car. Importantly, taxis and cars hailed through the 99 app must have a metro station as a pickup destination to receive the discount.
“With this partnership, passengers can get out of a subway station and order a taxi or private car discounted by the 99 application to complement their way to get to work, at home or elsewhere,” says Augusto Duarte, 99’s Rio general manager.
“We are a Brazilian company and want to create solutions to help people to move in a way that is increasingly cheaper, faster and safer,” he added, “so it makes sense to partner with MetrôRio, a company that brings the same values of 99 in their DNA.”
The new discount card is already one of several promotions MetrôRio has launched this year in an effort to increase ridership. In April, MetrôRio offered free subway rides to passengers who entered at one of the five new Line 4 stations.
The operator also added the “Eu amo férias” card during the July and August vacation season that offered riders up to 42 subway rides in a seven-day period.
MetrôRio’s efforts come amidst the country’s deep economic crisis that reports indicate have taken a toll on Rio’s metro ridership numbers.
According to MetrôRio figures, in the first half of this year, 46.7 million trips were made on the subway system, representing a 14.5 percent drop compared with the same period in 2016, when the numbers reached 54.7 million.