Marcio dos Santos, who works in a stockroom, has noticed the difference that the Cosme and Damião metro station has made in his everyday life from the point of view of commuting time. He lives in Camaragibe, town in Recife’s metropolitan region with 151.5 thousand inhabitants. Indeed, by his calculation, the time he takes to commute between his home and work has dropped by an hour. The project, which had investments in the order of R$ 7.4 million from the federal government, was delivered in May. “I used to leave home two hours before I had to be at work and I had to take two buses. Today, I take less than an hour”, he says.
The over 108 thousand residents of São Lourenço da Mata, another town in Recife's metropolitan region, have also started to see the metro as the best transport choice. Passengers transfer between buses and trains at the integrated terminal at Camaragibe. “The metro has been a life safer for those living in São Lourenço da Mata”, states librarian Maria das Graças.
The same station may also be used by fans going to the Pernambuco Arena, which will be the stage of five 2014 FIFA World Cup matches. The internal part of the World Cup City (Cidade da Copa) line has been finished and is being used since the Confederations Cup. The external part will be delivered by December. The 6.3km long roadway will connect Camaragibe to São Lourenço da Mata, and a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) will be operated on it. Investments in the order of R$ 130 million are being made.
» Watch the video (with English subtitles)
New urban centre
The executive secretary of the Pernambuco state SECOPA (Extraordinary Secretariat for the World Cup) Gilberto Pimentel, pointed out that the mobility projects were designed with the aim of adding a new urban centre to the area. The Pernambuco Arena is the first stage of the so-called ‘World Cup City’, which will be built in the surrounding area of the stadium after the tournament.
“São Lourenço and Camaragibe are towns that will feel a more direct impact from the building of the Pernambuco Arena, but all of the state's north will benefit. The World Cup has allowed for a series of projects to be put into practice. It is important that this be seen as the great legacy, which helps to improve the population’s day-to-day life", he explains.
Another way of getting to the Pernambuco Arena is via BR-408, a federal roadway, which has been increased to a dual carriageway, with an overpass providing access to the stadium. The project was delivered in April and R$ 140 million were invested in it. “For the World Cup there’s another set of projects. We’ve finished eleven. There are seven left, which should be delivered between October 2013 and April 2014. There would be no point having modern, wide roadways with good infrastructure if no improvements were made to the public transport system. Today, over 100km of bus lanes are being built in Recife’s metropolitan region”, said Pimentel.
The East/West lane will have 12.3km in length and will connect Recife City Centre to the World Cup City line. There will be 14 bus stations throughout the route, which will also have a tunnel and overpass. The system is able to cater for 126 thousand passengers per day and will cost R$ 146 million. Delivery date has been set for March 2014.
The North/South lane cuts Recife's metropolitan region in the opposite direction, stretching over a 33.2km route, with 33 stations connecting four integrated terminals. In addition to Recife, the buses will travel through the municipalities of Igarassu, Abreu e Lima, Paulista and Olinda. Budgeted in R$ 151 million, the project will cater for a demand of 180 thousand passengers a day and is expected to be concluded by the end of 2013.