Expert Voices: Marcos Tognozzi, Rio de Janeiro’s Transport Operations Coordinator, on the expansion of Rio’s BRT network

Through a range of well-designed bus services, the city of Rio de Janeiro is showing the world its efforts to provide better public transport for the city’s population. By the time four bus rapid transit (BRT) lines will have been opened in 2016, the share of trips made by mass transit (public transport) in Rio is expected to increase from 18 to 63 per cent.

In June 2012, Rio launched its first BRT corridor, the Transoeste, located in the West side of the city. It began with 40 kilometres of exclusive, segregated corridor, 36 stations, and new articulated and standard buses. After only one year in operation the Transoeste BRT line grew to 56 kilometres of exclusive lanes and 58 stations, transporting 120,000 passengers per day. Transoeste was able to reduce an inner city trip from one hour and 40 minutes to 45 minutes. The Transoeste now carries at least 160,000 passengers per day.

Rio's BRT system in 2012, image courtesy of Marcos Tognozzi

Rio's BRT system in 2016, proposed routes, image courtesy of Marcos Tognozzi

Before the 2014 World Cup, Rio opened a new BRT corridor, the Transcarioca, connecting the West and North parts of the city. It is the first mass transport system to arrive at Rio’s International Airport, providing an additional 40 kilometres of exclusive lanes and 25 new stations. By the end of 2014, Transcarioca should have 45 new BRT stations and bus terminals, and after only two months in operation, 50,000 passengers utilise the corridor per day.

Rio de Janeiro wants to continue to offer an efficient and sustainable answer to traffic jams and existing problems within public transport. The BRT system will provide connections with the Subway and Train network of Rio de Janeiro, allowing better access to mass transit for the population. The measures adopted thus far have resulted in less time spent commuting, renewal of the bus fleet from standard to articulated (high capacity), less pollution, efficiency in the transportation network, and quality improvement of state concessions.

The BRT network in Rio will continue to expand until 2016; during this period two more BRT corridors will be constructed: Transolímpica (currently under construction) and Transbrasil. Transoeste will also further expand to reach 63 kilometres of exclusive corridor, with more than 240,000 passengers per day connecting with the new subway line 4.

In 2016 Rio de Janeiro’s vision to transform public transport for all citizens will be well underway. More than 150 kilometres of exclusive BRT corridors are expected to carry two million passengers each day. This incredible accomplishment is something Rio is excited to share with the world. In fact, through the C40 BRT Network Rio is already sharing its best practices globally and in return, learning from other cities’ experiences in this area as well.

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