By Shalina Chatlani, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Details for the renovation of the Alvorada bus terminal were released in a public hearing in Barra da Tijuca’s Community Hall. The reforms, aimed at reducing congestion in the main transit area of the neighborhood and doubling the current capacity of the Transoeste BRT, were announced in July and are expected to be completed by April 2016 at a cost of R$30 million.
As discussed in the public audience, changes at the terminal include the creation of a road loop for drivers that use the path between Recreio and Avenida Ayrton Senna, enlargement, recovery, and increase in size of the lanes at the Cebolão, and the placement of a new exit at the Detran (DMV). Changes will generate more space for bus circulation and hopefully reduce congestion in the area around the BarraShopping.
In addition to these changes, local residents also want their condominium buses to be allowed to enter Alvorada. Moreover, they asked that current inter-municipal bus lines only extend to the terminal and not all the way to Downtown shopping at the end of Barra.
According to the Deputy Mayor of Barra and Jacarepaguá, Alex Costa, the current situation also leads to dangerous pedestrian traffic. “There are too many people crossing [the street] over the median strip illegally in front of Carrefour, [running] in front of the cars,” said Costa. “This stretch will be barred and the existing pedestrian passage will be expanded.”
In total, there will be five new tracks completed with the construction, which has already started: one in the needle curve, one on the track between the Toyota factory and New Ipanema condo, one on the track along the beach towards Avenida das Americas, and two in the new road loop. Additionally, the project will reinforce public lighting structures and expand the sidewalk.
With a new lane for the Transoeste BRT, which currently starts at the terminal but is set to continue until Jardim Oceanico to connect with the new metro Line 4, and the Transcarioca BRT capacity is expected to double from the 35,000 people that can be attended per hour at the moment.
According to the Secretary of Municipal Transportation, Rafael Picciani, the project is definitely a necessity, because the Alvorada in current form is “very small.”
The project is expected to benefit not only the residents in Barra, but also the entire region and the public transport system, because increased space at the terminal will allow for the construction of more bus lanes and lower intervals between the buses.
According to Costa, there are chances that the works will be already completed by January 2016, three months before their April deadline.