‘It’s been extraordinary. It has changed whole sections of the city.’
Unless you are rollerblading, skateboarding, jogging or strolling along Rio’s seafront promenades, getting around can be a challenge during rush hour. But additional public transport projects include a space-age VLT tram connecting 42 stations throughout downtown by 2016, and the BRT (Rapid Bus Transit) system. Running along the Transoeste corridor connecting Barra da Tijuca to Santa Cruz, it was unveiled last summer, and three other routes – Transbrasil, Transcarioca and Transolimpica – are on the way.
Meanwhile, Rio has partnered with IBM to create the NASA-like Rio Operations Centre, a hightech“mission control”with live feeds from 900 cameras around the city, enabling authorities to monitor roads, buildings and bridges. The center integrates staff from more than 30 agencies and as a consequence, has improved emergency response time by 30 percent.“The center was designed to improve the quality of life throughout the city but not just in poor communities,”Pedro Junqueira, the center’s chief executive, says. “By integrating services