Curitiba, Brazil - plan to gradually reduce fares to zero thwarted by costly subway project.
By Daniel Bland, BNamericas (Latin American business journal) Friday, March 7, 2014
Developing a free bus rapid transit (BRT) service is one way of accomplishing long-term sustainable urban mobility solutions, civil engineer Roberto Ghidini told BNamericas.
One such solution has been offered to southern Brazil's Paraná state capital Curitiba by local urban development NGO Sociedad Peatonal, where Ghidini holds the position of VP of technological and scientific affairs.
"Our idea, however, has been discarded by the city in place of a costly subway construction project and we're still trying to find out why," said Ghidini.
The BRT plan involves gradually reducing the price of bus fares until they reach zero and, in Brazil, this could be paid for through real estate taxes IPTU and ITBI or by taxing gasoline or ethanol used exclusively by automobiles, according to Ghidini.
We already have examples of this in Arlington, Virginia, he added.
Finally, the engineer pointed out that we must keep in mind that public transportation solutions should be developed in cooperation with urban planners in growing real estate markets. City officials need to recognize the added value of property located next to high-capacity public transportation centers and should push their political will to get things done, Ghidini said.
CURITIBA SUBWAY PLAN
Budgeted at 4.56bn reais (US$1.96bn), Curitiba is planning to tender a 35-year concession to build and operate the city's new subway, Metrô de Curitiba. Called the linha azul, or blue line, the metro will span 17.6km with 14 stations. The tender launch is expected this month.
A consortium led by local infrastructure group Triunfo Participações e Investimentos (TPI) has developed studies for the project.