On June 1, at a ceremony with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (see photo below), Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, and Governor Luiz Fernardo Pezão, Rio de Janeiro inaugurated its newest BRT corridor, TransCarioca. Limited operations began on June 2, and the system will continue to bring more stations and routes on line as construction is finalized, including the start of express lines on Wednesday the 4th. The new corridor cuts across the city, providing fast, efficient transit through the city’s streets and creating a strong symbol of Rio’s commitment to high-quality public transit. The route is the first high-capacity route between Barra da Tijuca in the south to Ilha do Governador in the north, and Rio’s second BRT line. By providing increased access for the city’s residents and expanding the transit network, TransCarioca is transforming Rio de Janeirio.
TransCarioca provides convenient connections between two of the city’s busiest areas. Barra da Tijuca is home to several sporting facilities, which will host much of the 2016 Rio Olympics. At the other end of the line, on Ilha do Governador (Governor’s Island), the Galeão International Airport welcomes visitors and residents to Rio. Stretching 39 kilometers, with 47 stations along the way, the TransCarioca corridor also features several major infrastructure works that will leave an important legacy for the city, including underpasses, viaducts, and several iconic new bridges. The new BRT will provide a safe, reliable, and easy commute for millions of people traveling to these popular destinations.
When the system reaches full operation, TransCarioca passengers traveling from Barra da Tijuca to the airport will reduce their time in transit by 60%. The BRT is expected to serve 320,000 passengers daily and remove nearly 500 buses from the streets. The improvements will help the relieve Rio’s traffic, reducing congestion and emissions across the city. The corridor received an investment of 1.7 billion USD, including 1.1 billion in federal funds and 600 million from the local municipality.
A high-quality BRT, the corridor features platform-level boarding, dedicated lanes, accessible stations, and clear passenger information, with bus timetables and routes. Air conditioned, bi-articulated buses carry 180 passengers, moving more people quicker than traditional bus service. TransCarioca is well integrated with bus and light rail networks, providing good network connectivity across Rio.
For the World Cup, the Olympics, and beyond, TransCarioca will become a key part of transport in Rio de Janeiro. The system represents a renewed focus on public transit, and on opening up the city to provide access for all.
To read a version of this post in Portuguese, click here.