By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Court of Auditors in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro has decided on June 2nd that the prices for the municipal buses should be reduced by R$0.131. With this reduction, the bus rates would fall from R$3.40 to R$3.25 if City Hall doesn’t appeal.
The court determined that the inclusions of free passages for students into the calculation of the last raise, from R$3 to R$3.40 in January 2015, was unjust, as the costs of the gratuities by law cannot be passed on to the customers.
After the last raise, several organs such as the public prosecutor sought an intervention in the city’s courts. The court deemed that students’ free passages should be covered by the Fundo Nacional do Desenvolvimento da Educação (National Development of Education Fund).
However, City Hall and Mayor Eduardo Paes can still appeal against the reduction in the bus prices decided by the court. The City Hall informed that they will wait for the official communication of the court before making any decisions on the matter. They have thirty days to appeal.
Bus prices are a controversial matter in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil in general, as the costs of public transport lie heavily on people’s wallets. The last raise in January 2015 increased prices by 13.3 percent almost double the inflation from 2014. In 2013, a raise of bus prices were the trigger of nationwide protests.