By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Beginning on Saturday 17th December, Line 4 of Rio de Janeiro’s Metro (subway) system will adopt the same operating hours as the city’s other Metro lines. The new subway line, which spans from Ipanema to Barra da Tijuca, was opened just before the 2016 Olympic Games, but with limited hours of operation.
As of this weekend, residents and visitors to the city will be able to use the new line between the hours of 5AM and midnight from Monday to Saturday, and between 7AM and 11PM on Sundays and public holidays.
Until now, Line 4 only runs from Monday to Friday, between 6AM and 9PM. Despite limited opening hours, Metro Line 4 already serves an average of 110,000 people every day according to government news sources.
“As it happens in every country in the world, the new line is gradually entering full operation,” said Rodrigo Vieira, transport secretary for Rio state. To ensure the city’s residents are able to take full advantage of the new route, plans are also in place to fully integrate Line 4 with Line 1, which stretches from Uruguai to General Osório, within the first six months of 2017.
Many residents believe that the new operating hours will greatly improve their quality of life. Carlos Moncken is one such resident: as a 23 year-old journalism student at UFRJ who lives in Vila Valqueire, a neighborhood in Jacarepaguá close to Barra, he explained that the extended hours of service will be a huge asset to him.
“The greatest advantage of Line 4 now will be returning home without so many traffic delays, which is currently my biggest problem – some days it’s an hour and a half, other times it’s three hours,” he said.
“Until now, the limited operating hours meant that it was difficult for me to take part in cultural activities after my university classes, or to go to the South Zone at the weekends. With the integration of Line 4 and the BRT in Jardim Oceânico, it will be much easier for me to study and to enjoy the city.”
The Metro Line 4 will also be integrated with the BRT system from Jardim Oceânico station in Barra da Tijuca.