By William Jones, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The current bus driver strike in Rio de Janeiro has led to longer-than-usual commutes for citizens, as well as outbreaks of violence in the city. The strike has created yet more concerns regarding the suitability of both the city and the country ahead of the World Cup which is little over a month away as the industrial action saw numerous examples of violence which caused damage to hundreds of vehicles.
According to a spokesperson for the city bus service 300 buses have been vandalized and only thirty percent of the city’s fleet is in operation. Since yesterday morning thousands of passengers have waited hours to get to work, a bus driver was injured after being hit by a rock and some school pupils have been ordered to stay at home for safety reasons.
The bus strike has forced Metro Rio to work at maximum capacity and have reported a 12.9 percent increase of passengers, they reiterated that there would remain to be a good service but were working with reduced intervals. The Super Via train network also announced that they were also working at maximum capacity and would be calling in extra staff to cope with the increase in numbers.
Eduardo Paes said that the city has requested the help from the military police to prevent further vandalism and rioting in the city because of the strike but refused to comment if the action will have political ramifications. “I Hope this strike movement does not bring violence,” he told the press. “It is unacceptable that we have 325 buses with broken windows. This is not acceptable,” he added.
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