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By Gregory Scruggs, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In an attempt to further tame Rio’s traffic, the city announced that Bus Rapid System (BRS) corridors will be installed along the major avenues of Centro in December. Speaking Wednesday at the 18th Brazilian Conference of Transportation and Transit, the municipal secretary of transportation, Alexandre Sansão, said that implementation will begin on Avenue Presidente Vargas between Avenues Primeiro de Março and Antônio Carlos.

An aerial view of Avenue Presidente Vargas, a major artery in Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News.
An aerial view of Avenue Presidente Vargas, a major artery in Centro, photo by Irwin Fletcher/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

The BRS system has already been installed along the major east-west corridors of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon.

“Centro will be a much larger challenge for installing BRS than the Zona Sul. There are a million public transit riders daily in this part of the city,” he explained at the conference, held at the Sul America Conference Center in Cidade Nova.

Over the course of December, all four sections of Presidente Vargas (the central and lateral lanes in both directions) will receive the BRS system. Avenue Rio Branco, which runs perpendicular to Presidente Vargas, crossing in front of Candelaria church, will likely wait until early 2012.

The BRS system began in February of this year along Avenue Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, which has the highest concentration of buses in the city. With dedicated bus lanes, select bus stops, and a reduced fleet, the BRS system claims to have reduced travel times significantly.

Drivers of private cars and taxis without passengers who cross into the dedicated lanes from 6AM-9PM on weekdays and 6AM-2PM on Saturdays will be subject to fines via cameras.

Extended to Ipanema and Leblon earlier this month, BRS promises to reduce the travel time on the main thoroughfares — Ruas Prudente de Moraes and General San Martin — by 30 percent.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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