BRAZIL: The government of Rio de Janeiro is backing a R$2bn plan to build a 17 km ‘light subway’ route to serve RioGaleão Tom Jobim International Airport on Governador Island to the north of the city centre.
The line would start at Estácio metro station in the city centre and run north to serve the Novo Rio bus terminal, the INTO institute for trauma and orthopaedics, Vila do João, the suburb of Maré and the Federal University on Fundão Island. End-to-end journey time would be 15 min.
The line would be geared to handle both airport, local and tourist traffic, with forecasts suggesting that it could carry up to 130 000 passengers a day. Travellers bound for the airport would be able to check their luggage in at Estácio station.
The project would be built using a private sector concession and relies on a potential agreement to use funds paid to the federal government by airport concessionaire RioGaleão. The choice of technology is understood to include a monorail as well as high-capacity conventional light rail. In the long term a 3 km extension could be built to serve other parts of Governador Island.
The scheme is viewed as one of several projects designed to encourage use of RioGaleao Airport rather than the more centrally located Santos Dumont airport, which is used by shuttle flights to São Paulo.