Better Urban Transport and Access to Public Services in Rio

rioMore than 11 million people living in Rio de Janeiro’s Metropolitan Area will benefit from new policies designed to better integrate different modes of the city’s transport system. The Enhancing Public Management for Service Delivery in Rio de Janeiro Program, a US$ 500 million policy loan approved by the World Bank Board of Directors will also support improvements to the planning and monitoring of public expenditures and a special program to expand women’s access to social and economic opportunities.

“In recent years, we have taken significant steps to improve population mobility in Rio de Janeiro, with better services, the renewal of the fleets of trains, subways and ferries and implementation of the Inter-municipal Single Ticket system,”said Sergio Cabral Filho, Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro. “With this new investment program, which is the result of a long standing successful partnership between the World Bank and Rio de Janeiro, we will be able to increase the efficiency of our transport system and hence provide better quality of life and equal opportunities.”

Rio de Janeiro is the third most populous state in Brazil and one of the most urbanized, with 74 percent of its 16 million inhabitants in the Metropolitan Area. Even though it has the third largest average per capita household income among Brazilian states, Rio de Janeiro still has a high level of poverty, with 30 percent of its population considered poor or vulnerable to poverty.

“Despite important advances made in recent years, the State of Rio de Janeiro continues to suffer from inadequate transport services,” said Deborah L. Wetzel, World Bank Director for Brazil. “The World Bank is pleased to support policy reforms that will enable integration and transparency in the delivery of transport services, improved fiscal management and support to women.  These are policies that allow the benefits of economic growth to be shared more widely with the poor.”

Improved integration of different transport modes, such as trains and buses, can increase access to job opportunities as most low income families reside in the urban outskirts but 55 percent of the region’s jobs are located in the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro. People living in Rio’s periphery spend an average of 86 minutes commuting every day.

Recent popular protests have highlighted the challenges related to the quality and cost of the inter-municipal and municipal bus services, which account for a large share of trips in the metropolitan region. Among the Program’s policy actions is a shift to a modern concession system and transparent, performance-based management of the bus companies.

As part of the public service improvement agenda supported by the Program, the Government of Rio de Janeiro (GovRJ) will implement an innovative strategy to utilize the existing Supervia trains and Teleférico cable cars (an important mode of transport for Rio’s many hillside shantytown inhabitants), urban mass transport infrastructure and network, as a means to increase access to and delivery of gender-focused legal, social and economic inclusion resources and services. This will be done through the implementation of the programs “Programa Supervia and Teleférico Lilás”, which will support the establishment in selected stations of: (i) Women Reference and Service Centers (“Salas Lilás”), electronic public information points on the Maria da Penha Law (national Anti-domestic Violence Law), information dissemination and campaign activities on anti-domestic and gender-based violence, and improved security conditions for women riders; (ii) sustainable transport links to the “Casa da Mulher Brasileira” (Brazilian Women’s House – a Federal program that assembles several public services for women); (iii) a women police station, a women clinic, and a child-care center; and, (iv) commercial retail with specific gender-based discount programs (drugstore, supermarket, etc.).  Additionally, based on pre-identified employment opportunities, the Program will pilot vocational education and capacity development programs for women under existing situation or high risk of violence.

The other main objectives of the project are:

  • Develop a regional master plan for the metropolitan transport system, integrating buses, trains, ferries and cable-cars, and allowing them to increase their reach.
  • Improve regional coordination between the State and municipalities in transport.
  • Reduce domestic and gender-based violence by using transport infrastructure to provide social support services for women.
  • Support the State’s fiscal management improvement efforts.
  • Help increase the role of bicycles and improve safety in routes dedicated to them.

This single tranche loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the State of Rio de Janeiro is guaranteed by the Federative Republic of Brazil and has a final maturity of 26 years and a grace period of 10 years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s