One of the biggest revolutions in Rio de Janeiro’s mass transit system started in 2012 with the inauguration of the first BRT corridor as part of the city’s BRT Master Plan, which includes four corridors and will ultimately have 150 km of network coverage. The city is readying for the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games scheduled for 2014 and 2016, respectively, by increasing mobility options in currently underserved districts. The first corridor, TransOeste with 56 km was launched in June 2012 and is currently carrying over 100,000 passengers a day, reducing travel time for commuters by 50%. Two other BRT corridors currently under construction are TransCarioca, 39 km, expected to carry 500,000 passengers per day and to be launched by the end of 2013; and TransOlímpica, 26 km, to carry 400,000 passengers per day with a launch set by 2016. TransBrasil, the fourth corridor, is also expected to be launched by 2016 and could help leverage some of the biggest transformations in the city.
TransBrasil will be 32 km long with an expected demand of 820,000 passengers per day, making it one of the highest capacity corridors in the world. It is the only BRT line to integrate with Rio’s historic city centre. Connecting over a dozen neighborhoods lining the heavily trafficked Av. Brasil arterial in the North zone, it will connect thousands of residents to employment opportunities in the downtown. It also has the potential to stitch together the two sides divided by Av. Brasil by helping to stimulate new pedestrian connections and investments around the station areas.
As part of the activities for Our Cities Ourselves 2013 in Brazil, ITDP will hold a seminar on Wednesday, September 18th with international speakers who will discuss how TransBrasil can be an even bigger success when integrated with transit-oriented development (TOD). The results of a TOD design charrette held a week prior with city officials around a station in the Bonsucesso neighborhood will be presented.