As Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, efficient mass transportation is one of the biggest challenges. Therefore, the Rio de Janeiro City Hall has outlined a comprehensive and ambitious four-year masterplan that has been developed to ensure safe, fast and reliable public transportation and urban sustainable mobility not only for the games’ spectators, but also for its citizens.
The city will build upon existing transportation and projects to create a ‘High-Performance Transport Ring’ which includes a fully renovated train system, an expanded metro system and four new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines.
This network will be integrated with several stations, and will connect all four Olympic clusters to key areas of the city. The BRT corridor will cover 150 km comprising four lines that provide high-quality mobility options to thousands of people as well as promote social-economic integration for the entire city. The first BRT line, TransOeste, has the capacity for carrying 220,000 people per day and has already affected many cariocas´ routines.
BRT has a network of 91 articulated buses that replaced 251 conventional ones, diminishing the greenhouse and material emissions and the consumption of fuel. According to an ITDP report, in 20 years, just the BRT TransOeste will generate a annual reduction of 107,380 tons of carbon dioxide in comparison to conventional buses. The estimation is that in 20 years, BRT will enable a 95% reduction of the emissions of bus and paratransit (e.g.: vans and kombis) emissions along the corridor. All buses are equipped with EURO V technology and TransOeste represents a reliable option for commuters.
Rio de Janeiro´s West Zone is mostly inhabited by low income citizens. BRT TransOeste has had an important effect in people´s quality of life. It has impacted commuting time, especially for those that go to the city center. BRT has already reduced travel times with more than 50 %. By promoting the city´s integration, people from low income areas now have greater chances to obtain higher-paying jobs.