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President Rousseff Commits R$143 Billion to Urban Mobility Pact

Posted on the 13 May 2014 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

As part of her response to last year’s social unrest, President Dilma Rousseff pledged R$33 billion in federal funds to expand, or create, a subway train system in nine Brazilian cities. As part of a joint investment, an additional R$15.5 billion was to be contributed by municipal and state governments as well as private companies.

This year, President Rousseff has upped the ante. During her radio show, Coffee with the President, she raised the value of the joint investment to R$143 billion. The initiative, known as the Urban Mobility Pact, is designed to create comfortable, faster, and affordable public transportation according to President Rousseff.

The cities targeted for the new subway system include Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza, Brasília, Curitiba, Port Alegre, and Belo Horizonte. Each of these cities will host the upcoming World Cup.

Although the future of transportation in Brazil appears to be focused on building a subway train network, President Rousseff has not forgotten the inadequate and aging highway systems. As part of the Urban Mobility Pact, the government now plans to auction five new highway concessions. The auction includes the rights to operate the bridge that links Rio de Janeiro and Niterói. The total private investment will reach nearly R$17.8 billion.

President Rousseff is promoting the concessions to private companies as a way to make Brazil’s economy more competitive. The idea is that private companies will be able to improve and maintain the roads better than the government. Under the Urban Mobility Pact concession plan, the winning companies are not allowed to charge tolls until 10% of the work of improving the roads has been completed.

The new concessions to manage 2,282 kilometers of highway represent a component of the second stage of the Logistics Investment Program the government launched in 2013. However, only five of the nine planned concessions from the first stage have been auctioned. Both of these initiatives are a part of the growth acceleration program known as PAC (Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento). PAC also includes the expansion of the availability and speed of broadband Internet networks throughout the country.

If all goes as planned, Brazil will have made a giant leap forward in terms of investing in its crumbling infrastructure. It will also mean that both Brazilians and tourists will be able to travel around the country with much greater ease and comfort.

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