Mega events and the transformation of Rio de Janeiro into a mass-transit city

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - ferry, mode - subway/metro, mode - tram/light rail, mode - rail, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, infrastructure - busway, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - integration, planning - safety/accidents, planning - service improvement


Mega events, Mass transit, Bus Rapid Transit, Rail systems, 2016 Olympic Games


After bidding three times, Rio de Janeiro was finally selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games. In its third and successful attempt, Rio changed the focus of its transit supply strategy from rail to bus, with BRT corridors featuring as the main innovation. The backbone of the plan included the implementation of an integrated high-capacity bus based transit network fully integrated to other modes including boat, LRT, metro and suburban rail. Once fully implemented, Rio shall have a world-class transit system and expects the share of daily trips made by mass transit to increase from 18% to 63%, benefiting almost 1.5 million passengers per day. We focus our work in describing bus improvements from regulation and control to the implementation of BRS lanes and four BRT corridors. We address benefits in terms of travel time and emissions from optimizing services and renewing the bus fleet. We highlight the gains in user's satisfaction before and after the BRT. We also report measures to improve safety of the bus transit system and important challenges that still lie ahead to overcome problems deriving from the own success of BRT and from overestimating the performance of important BRT components.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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