By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio de Janeiro’s public transport companies providing the boat, train and metro services have received a total of 84 fines for unsatisfactory services since 2005 from AGETRANSP, the regulatory agency. The fines total R$16 million with only R$7 million being paid by the fined providers.
Half of the 84 fines were issued in the last eighteen months with SuperVia, the company in charge of the train service in Rio de Janeiro, being the main overall culprit. Most fines are applied for accidents and delays in services.
SuperVia alone received 56 fines, totaling at R$8.6 millions. However, the company only paid 24 of all fines, reaching an amount of R$3.5 million. Nineteen fines now have been registered as active debt with the state, while another thirteen fines are disputed and within the deadline for appeal. Yet, SuperVia claimed to have paid all their fines within the legal boundaries.
MetroRio, running the metro service in the city, received fourteen fines and paid eight of them. Of the total fined amount of R$3.2 million, R$768,000 were therefore already covered. CCR Barcas, running the boat service to Niterói, received also fourteen fines and paid seven and about half of the total R$4.9 million debt.
For AGETRANSP the fines are a part of the income of the regulatory agency, but President Advisor César Mastrangelo denies that they are applied to generate resources. “By decree, all fines are part of the agency’s resource supply. [However] Today, the most resources for the agency come from the regulatory tax, not from fines. The fines are not the primary source of funds for our working capital and investments.”
The Attorney General of the State of Rio de Janeiro currently tries to find a way to benefit users of the transport services with the money from the fines. However, new legislation would need to be introduced in order for this transfer of beneficiaries.