Will the transport projects satisfy the city’s demand?
In part. The new bus corridors and Metro line should increase the percentage of cariocas who use medium and high capacity public transport from 18% to 63%, according to the city government. However, the fleet of trains promised for 2016 has been reduced by 13%, in order to guarantee the reform of stations for the Olympics. The new BRTs have been in the pipeline for nearly five decades and satisfy a demand that has long been pent up. Transoeste and Transcarioca are already overcrowded at rush hour.
Will the construction projects in the port district help to revitalize the area?
Yes. The district will have new infrastructure and public services. The aim is also to attract new residents to the historic center of Rio. One problem, however, is that the city government let the market decide which type of buildings to construct in the area. So far, the vast majority are corporate or luxury residential buildings, which is not what the government had intended.
Will the poor residents of the port district be able to live in the area?
With difficulty. While improvements in infrastructure in the port district will serve residents of favelas and old houses in the city center, there is a concern that the new luxury residential buildings and office blocks will increase the cost of living in the district, with the consequent flight of poor residents from the area after the work is finished. There is no social housing plan for the area.
Will the residents of the Vila Autódromo favela benefit from the improvements to the neighborhood?
No. The forthcoming Parque Olímpico neighborhood will be a middle-class area with public services financed by private enterprise via concessions. Some of the residents of the Vila Autódromo favela were evicted to make way for access roads to the new neighborhood, and there is still no urbanization plan for the area of the favela in which nearly 100 families will remain.
Might the investment in Barra jeopardise the revitalization of the port?
Yes. The Barra Olympic Park and the Athletes’ Village will be mainly covered by private investment. The construction work is being financed by real estate capital, which will construct dozens of new buildings in Barra, creating competition for investment with the port district. Specialists have highlighted the need to construct new housing in the old center of Rio to attract new residents.
Will the current projects help to improve the local environment?
In part. The construction of the BRTs and the expansion of the Metro will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. However, the government is behind schedule in its promise to clean up Guanabara Bay and dredge the Jacarepaguá and Barra lagoons.
Will private investment reduce public spending on the Games?
In part. So far, nearly 57% of the projects related to the Olympics have been covered by private enterprise. However, a large part of this capital comes from public banks, such as Caixa Econômica Federal.