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Rio de Janeiro

View of Rio de Janeiro including the Christ the Redeemer Statue from Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)July 28, 2010

View of Rio de Janeiro including the Christ the Redeemer Statue from Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain)
July 28, 2010

Like many other cities in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is a sprawling metropolis with a public transit network that does not truly support the needs of the city.  Despite having a population of over 6 million people, the city relies on a bus network with over 400 lines as its primary form of public transportation.  There is a small, three line subway that opened in March 1979 and was last expanded in 2016, just prior to the Summer Olympics.  The Rio de Janeiro light rail opened in Jun 2016 and connects Santos Dumont Airport to the city center and the Novo Rio Bus Terminal.  There is also a commuter rail system, the SuperVia, which has 8 lines and 100 stations.  Rio is home to Latin America’s oldest electric railway of any kind, the Santa Teresa Tram.  The Santa Teresa Tram opened in 1877 and has been electrified since 1896, but service was suspended between 2011 and 2015 following a fatal accident.  

Rio de Janeiro Metro

The Rio de Janeiro Metro (also known as MetrôRio) opened in March of 1979. Like most Brazilian cities, the size of this system is extremely small when compared to the area it serves. Despite the fact that nearly 7.5 million people live in Rio de Janeiro, MetrôRio only has 3 lines, 36 miles of track, and a daily ridership of about 625,205 passengers.

Rio de Janeiro Buses

Rio de Janeiro has a large bus network and it is the most used part of the city's public transit system, About 4 million people use the bus each day. The city has about 440 bus lines operated through a concessionaire system.

Santa Teresa Tram

The Santa Teresa Tram is a historic tram line connecting downtown Rio de Janeiro to the Santa Teresa neighborhood along a a 3.7 mile long route. It ran continuously from 1877 until 2011 and was electrified in 1896, making it the oldest electric railway of any kind in Latin America. It was Rio's only tram line after 1967; the city had an extensive tram network prior to then. Service was suspended in 2011 following a serious, fatal accident. Service was restored to about 1.2 miles of the current 3.7 mile route in July 2015.  New replica trams were delivered in 2015, leaving the older trams to an undetermined fate as of early 2018.