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By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The opening of the metro (subway) line that was promised as part of the bid to host the Rio 2016 Olympics, has been delayed quietly yesterday, on Friday, May 14th. New plans have the metro Linha 4 (Line 4) extension connecting Ipanema to Barra da Tijuca opening on August 1st, just four days before the Games start, and only available to event ticket holders, athletes, and official press pass holders.

The new Line 4 metro station at Nossa Senhora da Paz in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
The new Line 4 metro station at Nossa Senhora da Paz in Ipanema is almost ready, but will not open until August, photo Divulgação.

The State Transportation Secretary, Rodrigo Vieira, gave an interview to RJTV yesterday and also announced that the Metro Line 4 will only be available to the general public after the Paralympics end on September 19th (the Olympics run from August 5th – 21st).

Mr. Vieira explained why the delay was necessary, “Because we are doing, right now, and over the months of June and July, all the necessary tests. They are tests that begin as individual and go to compound tests, the movement of trains. During July, for example, we [circulate] Line 4 trains without passengers, so that all people involved in the new subway line get used to the operation.”

“The day of August 1st, before the Olympics, which begin on the 5th, we will open the special operation of the subway, which will have some conditions. These conditions can be set for a longer train range, and this range has been studied to be compatible with the start of the operation and at the same time would meet the city’s demand at that time, related to the Olympics.”

Just last month officials reported that the new subway line was 93 percent finished and would be ready for use in July. Hampered by delays and increased costs, in December of 2015, Rio signaled the need for an additional R$1 billion from the federal government to complete work in time, and by March, state officials confirmed it would open the month before the mega event.

At the moment there is no confirmed date for Line 4 to be fully operational for the public, according to local new outlet O Dia. Another change in the project is the estimated cost, initially planned at R$5 billion, the the works may now reach a total R$9.7 billion, almost double what was expected.

Authorities say the Metro Line 4 will unite Rio, integrate regions and bring quality of life to thousands of people. The Rio de Janeiro state government’s project is designed to transport more than 300,000 people a day, removing about 2,000 vehicles from the streets during peak rush hour.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. It probably makes sense to limit usage during the games to ticket holders, athletes, etc. Considering the pent-up demand for metro service between Barra and the rest of the city, the trains would otherwise be jammed and people trying to get to the Olympic events could easily be delayed or even unable to get there at all because the trains are so full! The other lines are sardine tins during large parts of the day, so there’s no reason to think things will be different on the new Line 4. Still, crowded or not, this is a welcome addition to Rio and making it easier to get around this far-flung city!

  2. Having lived in Barra in Jardim Oceanico for 10 years,I would like to say this Metro line is a huge waste of money.Only stupid gringos think its a good idea.
    There is an urgent need for more roads to Barra and out West.
    No Brazillians are going to leave the car at home and walk half an hour to the Metro,then wait 20 minutes for a Metro car to come.
    None.Zero.This stupid Metro line will not take one car or one bus off the road.
    The money should have been spent on new roads to connect Barra with Zona Sul.

  3. What do they mean by “ticket holders”? Does that mean that I can only use the subway on the days when I have a ticket for a specific sport event?

  4. What you are experiencing with in cost increases and delays has been the rule around the world with these kinds of projects. As for taking cars off the road, that is only in the planning phase. Once the trains start operating, the traffic declines never materialize.

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