By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Due to a lack of security one of the main legacies of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games for Rio de Janeiro, the BRT transportation system, may have to close 22 stations in the Transoeste corridor, directly affecting more than 30,000 passengers.
“The high rate of evasion, the priceless costs of the depredation resulting from vandalism, (and) the problems of public safety make the shutdown of services not only an imminent risk, but a matter of time,” says the BRT on its social media accounts.
According to Suzy Balloussier, Institutional Relations director of the BRT Operational Consortium, there needs to be greater security in these stations by the police, but the agents who patrol the stations are ordered not to react in cases of violence and depredation.
“The BRT Operational Consortium sent a letter this morning to the Public Prosecutor’s Office after exhausting all attempts to obtain a solution from the managing body, the Municipal Transportation Secretariat (SMTR),” said the text sent by BRT on Thursday.
“Four letters have already been sent to the secretariat, reporting the seriousness of the problems and the critical situation faced by the operation of the BRT at Avenida Cesário de Melo in Santa Cruz, but effective measures have not been adopted,” concluded the text.
The municipal government responded stating that the eleven-company consortium has a legal bidding contract with the city and that penalties will be applied if the services are halted.
“The SMTR informs that it has already activated the Attorney General’s Office to evaluate the appropriate legal measures in case there is a unilateral interruption of services by the consortium, “stated a press release by the government agency.
The BRT system consists of articulated buses that travel through three express corridors and only stop at specified stations. The system was conceived as a mobility solution for the World Cup and the Olympic Games, with passengers pre-paying for the tickets.
Currently, the three corridors (Transoeste, Transolímpica and Transcarioca) transport 380,000 thousand passengers per day. For its viability several bus lines ceased to exist or have become feeder-lines-only, making the passengers totally depend on the BRT for transportation.