Two of the most important and popular events of the world, the World Cup and the Olympic Games will take place in Brazil and one of the challenges the country faces is the demand for transportation. In this article you will learn what the government has been doing and what are its plans in this area.
Transportation is one of the investment areas of PAC 2, which is the second phase of PAC, the acronym for "Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento", which is a governmental initiative created in 2007 by the Brazilian government with the purpose of promoting the country's economic growth .
PAC 2 started in 2011 having as one of its aims the investment of billions of dollars in order to improve railways, highways and waterways. It is part of the actions the government takes to provide social services and since Brazil will host two important events by the next five years: the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
Highways represent more than half of all public transportation in Brazil, followed by 25% of railways and 17% of waterways and others, like air. In similar-size countries, roads have a minor participation in the transportation area. In Russia, for example, 81% of the transportation is made by rails, only 8% by roads and 11% by waterways and others. In the United States, most transportation is made by rails too: 43%, against 32% of highways and 25% of waterways and others.
From 2011 to 2014, the government expects to spend USD52,25 billions, according to the planning of PAC Transportation. After the year of the World Cup, more USD2,25 billions should be invested in this area, totaling USD54,50 billions of the USD793,20 billions planned to be spent in all areas of the second phase of the program.
Almost half of the USD54,50 billions is being invested on roads. Until 2014, USD24,20 billions will be used to create and improve the roads of the five Brazilian regions, and after 2014, USD1 billion will still be invested in this area. This process includes not only the construction of bridges and paths, but also their paving and duplication plus maintenance and preservation of the roads.
Railways will receive a total investment of USD21,95 billions before 2014, and additional USD1,05 billion after this period. This money will be used to better especially the north-south transportation, connecting preexisting railways and building others. The planning also includes the construction of a TAV (Trem de Alta Velocidade, or High Speed Train) which will connect cities from four states – Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, considerably decreasing the time spent in the journeys.
Four of the sixteen major transportation projects in the world are being done in Brazil:
- The Norte-Sul railroad, which connects Goiás, Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, São Paulo and Tocantins states, with more the USD6,7 billions invested
- The expansion of São Paulo subway system, which has cost over USD4 billions
- The north section of São Paulo beltway, in which USD3,8 billions were applied
- The Transnordestina railroad, that connects Ceará, Pernambuco and Piauí states, costing USD3,4 billions.
Over USD2,40 billions are being spent to improve the Brazilian ports, being three of them located in the North Region, ten in the Northeast, six in the Southeast and five in the South. Dredging, reinforcement and enlargement of the ports are some of the goals of the investment.
Among the projects of PAC 2 there are two of the major projects of ports in the world: the expansion of Port of Santos, in São Paulo, which has received USD2,9 billions; and the Açu Superport, in the north of Rio de Janeiro, in which USD1,8 billion was applied.
In order to improve the airports of Brazil, USD1,5 billion is the total amount which will be spent until 2014. Besides enlargements and restoration, runways, courtyards and air traffic control towers will be built. There will be no investments in this area after 2014.
Equipments for country roads are also in the program planning. USD900 millions will be spent in this area until 2014. There are no plans for more investments after this year.