After years of planning and preparation, and with the world’s attention turned towards Rio in the final days before Rio+20, the city’s first of four planned BRT lines began operations on June 6th. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, alongside former President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, led the formal inauguration ceremony. ITDP was represented at the event by Brazil Director Helena Orenstein, and Vice Director Clarisse Linke, who attended at the special invitation of the City.
The line, called Transoeste, covers 56 kilometers with 53 stations between Barra da Tijuca, Campo Grande and Santa Cruz in the west of Rio. It is predicted to cut current travel times along the corridor in half. 120,000 passengers per day are expected to use the new line immediately, and this is projected to increase to 220,000 passengers per day by the time its final extension is completed in 2016. Transoeste will ultimately be integrated with other planned BRT lines—Transcarioca and Transolímpica—along with the city’s metro, where passengers will be able to transfer from the bus to the metro within a single intermodal station.
The intermodal station will open in 2016, and represents a major element of ITDP Brazil’s collaboration with the City of Rio. It was designed by ITDP consultant and intermodal station specialist Oren Tatcher. Impressed by this design, the City has requested designs for two more stations, and have committed to applying his design principles to all other intermodal stations in the network. In addition to the stations, ITDP is conducting a study to record the Transoeste line’s impact, in partnership with the City.