Rio de Janeiro. The expansion works of the Santa Teresa cable car, which has been shut down for at least two years because of the state’s financial crisis, must finally get out of the way. The government has announced that it will resume expansion by the end of the month. The new 3 km route, between Odylo Costa Neto Square in Largo dos Guimarães and Largo do França, should be ready in 120 days. The information was released last Wednesday (4), on the blog of columnist Ancelmo Gois.
The repairs to one of the neighborhood symbols began in 2013, two years after the accident that left six people dead. The stretch currently covered by the tram is only 4 km – between Largo da Carioca, in the Center, and Praça Odylo Costa Neto, in Largo dos Guimarães – and leaves many residents helpless:
“Since the accident, Largo das Neves is abandoned because it was the cable car that took the tourists there. There were many cultural attractions. Today, there is still one event or another, but the broad does not fill more like before – lamented Eduardo Anunciação, who has lived in Santa Teresa for 32 years. – Pity that this phase of expansion does not contemplate the whole neighborhood, but we are already excited to know that the cable car is coming back, even if slowly.
Problems mark the return of the Bonde de Santa Teresa
The Elmo / Azvi Consortium will continue to be responsible for carrying out the enlargement work, which has already presented several problems since it was started. In a statement to the members of Alerj’s CPI investigating irregularities in the transport sector in May, Rogério Azambuja, president of the State Engineering, Transport and Logistics Company of Rio (Central), said that of the ten kilometers of rails had been built in Santa Teresa, only four had been completed.
Azambuja also said that of the 14 compositions planned for the system, only five were acquired. Of these, only three were used at the time by the public, since two trolleys were, according to Azambuja, reserve.
74 Trips per day
The president of the Central also stated during the CPI that it would take R $ 100 million to buy new cable cars and the rails would reach Silvestre. When it began, the work was budgeted at R $ 58.6 million.
Yesterday, the State Department of Transportation reported that, currently, there are five trams running, an amount that, according to the agency, is sufficient to meet demand. Approximately 74 trips a day are offered, according to the government. The average occupancy of 2,368 seats is 44%. The folder believes that the numbers are positive and “demonstrate the approval of the service by the population.”
Residents of Santa Teresa registered are entitled to free travel, as well as public school students in uniform and people over 65 years. The expenses with employees and maintenance of the system are paid with the sale of tickets for tourists, which cost R $ 20 (round trip).