By Mariana Sales, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Starting yesterday (Thursday, June 1st) the toll on the Ponte Rio-Niterói (Rio-Niterói bridge) increased from R$4 to R$4.10 per trip and is the second adjustment made since Ecoponte started management of the route two years ago.
According to the National Land Transportation Agency (ANTT), the purpose of the adjustment is to keep up with inflation in Brazil, and will happen once a year as allowed in the concession contract.
The Ponte Rio-Niterói, also known as BR-101/RJ, was granted to private management for the first time in 1995, for a period of twenty years. After that, management of the eight mile (13-kilometer) long bridge was auctioned for a second time in March 2015.
Local news outlet O Globo reported that the new concession agreement provided for investments of R$3.3 billion in operation and works, a few examples being the construction of the Port Avenue, a connection handle with the Linha Vermelha (Red Line) and an underpass in Niterói to separate local traffic of vehicles coming across the bridge.
Niterói is Rio de Janeiro’s most popular neighbor, just across the Guanabara Bay. The proximity to the capital draws many of its almost 500,000 residents to commute across the often congested bridge every day.