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Post from Right to the City - Brazil

Right to the City - Brazil | Projects | Blog #3 | Portfolio

  •             In all major cities, transportation is a key and major aspect of how people move around and interact. The city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is covered by an extensive railway, road, and port transportation network. Bus transportation has become very useful and efficient in the past years. Rio’s metro system has two lines: Line one has nineteen stations, connecting the neighborhoods of Tijuca and Ipanema, and it has integrated Metro-bus services going to Barra da Tijuca, Gávea and Botafogo. Line two goes from the neighborhood of Pavuna to Cidade Nova, in Rio’s city centre. It has sixteen stations and integrated Metro-bus services going to Barra da Tijuca and Jacarepaguá. Work is being done and these lines are being extended. In 2011 the creation of exclusive bus lanes with streamlined bus stops improved traffic flows in the neighborhoods of Copacabanca, Leblon and Ipanema, as well as the city centre. In June 2012, the first of four Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was opened. They named it Transoeste; the first thirty-two kilometer BRT corridor links the neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and Barra da Tijuca. This new bus transportation system has cut travel times between these two neighborhoods by fifty percent. An addition of three BRT corridors will be opened by 2016: Transcarioca, which will connect the neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, where the center of the Games will be held, to Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport; Transolímpica, which will link Barra da Tijuca and Deodoro, two important Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games zones; and Transbrasil, which will provide access from Avenida Brazil, one of the main routes in and out of the city, to the competition zones.

                Bus systems are cheap and they provide easy access that mostly everyone can use, as they are accessible in an unlimited range of locations. In Curitiba, the bus system there exemplifies a model Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, and plays a large part in making this a livable city. The buses run frequently, some as regularly as every ninety seconds. Curitiba’s transit systems are one of the most heavily used, yet low-cost, in the world.  About seventy percent of Curitiba’s commuters use the BRT to travel to work. Having this large percent of people use this system, it is a result of congestion free streets and pollution free air for the 2.2 million people that live there.  This new bus system has lanes that stops at clear-walled tube stations with turnstiles, steps, and wheelchair lifts. “Passengers pay their fares as they enter the stations, and wait for buses on raised platforms. Instead of steps, buses have extra wide doors and ramps that extend out to the station platform when the doors open. The tube stations serve the dual purpose of providing shelter from the elements, and facilitating the simultaneous loading and unloading of passengers, including wheelchairs, efficiently. This system of same-level bus boarding, plus the pre-boarding fare payment, results in a typical dwell time of no more than 15 to 19 seconds at a stop.”  As far as they have come with this technology advancement, we can be sure to see more improvement in the near future.

     Gabby Marks