By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – To encourage subway travel for both Rio’s tourists and residents alike during the July vacation season, Rio’s metro (subway) operator, MetrôRio, has just launched a new discount metrocard called “Eu amo férias” (I love vacations).
The cost of the new “Eu amo férias” card is R$60 and will entitle riders to up to six trips a day for a seven-day period, or a maximum of 42 trips in seven days. The clock on the seven-day period begins to run as soon as the card is first used.
Taking into account the total number of trips, the current R$4.30 fare for a single ride on the metro drops to nearly R$1.42, representing a discount of nearly 66 percent.
Although released under the pretext of the July vacations, the card will be sold at specified metro stations until September 3rd. The card itself will only be valid until September 30th.
The card is available to be purchased at the following metro stations: Del Castilho, Carioca, Largo do Machado, Botafogo, Cardeal Arcoverde, Siqueira Campos, Cantagalo, Nossa Senhora da Paz, Antero de Quental and Jardim Oceânico from the hours of 9AM to 7PM. The cards will also be sold at the Accor line of hotels throughout the city.
The “Eu amo férias” discount card is the second promotion done by MetrôRio so far this year. In April, to attract riders to the brand new Line 4 connecting Ipanema and Barra da Tijuca, MetrôRio offered free subway rides to passengers who entered at one of the new Line 4 stations.
In light of the economic crisis gripping the city and the country, local news reports have speculated that the latest promotion is meant to compensate for a severe fall in metro ridership this year.
Swedish expatriate and operator of destination manager service Rio Love Story, Tavi Norén, shares, “I am surprised to see that MetroRio is offering a promotion because they rarely do that.”
“I believe it is a great incentive from their part […],” but adds, “This specific promotion, however, I feel will have little impact because I believe few people use metro rides in such quantities.”
According to MetrôRio’s press office, the latest promotion is only meant to market the quality of Rio’s metro system. “It does not mean that we did this to solve a problem of declining passengers,” said the spokesperson.
The company also said more new promotions will be launched by the end 2017 as part of the overall marketing strategy modeled after similar measures incorporated by subway systems in other countries.