By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, said yesterday (Saturday, June 10th) that he will maintain the decision of the city hall to allow taxis to travel through the exclusive bus corridor BRT Transcarioca.
The decision, published on June 9th in the Official Gazette of the Municipality, was criticized by the concessionaire BRT Rio, which manages the exclusive rapid bus lane corridors of the city.
The Official Gazette stated that the circulation of taxis will be allowed in sections of the Transcarioca corridor, on weekdays and on Saturday, from 7AM to 8PM.
For BRT Rio, the transit of taxis in the exclusive route of articulated buses puts at risk the drivers and the passengers of the buses and the taxis. According to the mayor however, the permission was made after studies done by technicians of the city hall.
Crivella said yesterday that the BRT Transcarioca is underutilized and that the decision ensures a better use of the corridor and gives a greater advantage to the taxi drivers, who today compete with the Uber application.
“The idea is to favor our taxis, an asset of Rio de Janeiro. They have lost a lot because of the Uber application. I ask everyone to pay attention and I believe there will be no accidents. Accident risk exists anywhere. That route is little used and cost a lot,” he said.
BRT Rio announced yesterday that it would send a letter to the Municipal Transportation Secretariat warning about possible consequences of this decision.
Institutional Relations Director for BRT Rio, Suzy Balloussier, said, “It is unbelievable what they are doing. Who guarantees that there will be no taxi driver stopping at the Transcarioca lane to catch a passenger? The responsibility of a chaos will be of the Prefecture,” she lamented.