By Michela DellaMonica, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — One day after chaos broke out when a SuperVia train derailed in the early morning hours on Wednesday, January 24th, vice-governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando Pezão, stated that he is satisfied with the SuperVia service operators, as well as other emergency operators. Pezão defended the group responsible for the train’s operating system on Thursday, adding that the services suffers from the consequences of forty years of neglect.
“I am satisfied with all operators. The SuperVia has the largest maintenance group in Brazil behind it now. This should put everyone at ease,” stated Pezão. For the vice-governor, the trains have been gaining credibility, since the number of passengers has increased with the current management team.
According to him, since Governor Sérgio Cabral took office in January 2007, the total number of people who use the trains jumped from 300,000 to about 650,000 commuters. Secretary of Transportation Julio Lopes stated that the problems arising with the rail system will only be resolved by 2016.
The vice-governor stressed that the SuperVia must first renew its fleet. According to him, the department of transportation received US$600 million in the last seven years.
“I understand the accident which caused all rail lines to stop service is a problem today in Rio. But it is a system that has been gaining credibility. Everyone knows it is old and it is being improved, but everyone sees a light at the end of the tunnel.”
“I believe that, every year, we will increasingly improve all systems, both the metro as the ferries and the rail system,” said Pezão after taking part in a meeting with Congressman Paulinho da Força at the Guanabara Palace, seat of the state government.
Despite the recurring problems in transportation, in 2010 Governor Cabral renewed SuperVia’s concession to run the train system until 2048. Pezão admitted, however, that what occurred this Wednesday was severe and that the company must improve its service. The SuperVia provides service to Rio de Janeiro and its suburbs.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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