Brazil protests: São Paulo and Rio lower public transit fare

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — The governments of both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiroannounced Wednesday night that they would be lowering their public transit fares back to their previous rates after two weeks of protests across Brazil.

São Paulo’s Governor Geraldo Alckmin and Mayor Fernando Haddad said that the city’s bus, metro and train fare would lose its extra 20 cents and return to the previous rate of 3 reais ($1.50) as of Monday.

“I would like to say that in the case of the metro and train, we will revoke the given adjustment and the fare will return to its original 3 reais,” Alckmin told reporters. “It’s a huge sacrifice. We will have to cut investments because the companies don’t have the ability to shoulder these costs.”

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In Rio, Mayor Eduardo Paes said the public transit fare would also be suspended. He noted that the decision was made together with the leaders of the neighboring state.

The government of São Paulo has yet to say which investments will be affected by the reduction in investments, but Secretary of Planning Julio Semeghini said he was looking at possible alternatives.

Members of the Free Pass Movement (MPL), who started the protests that brought out over 240,000 people across Brazil on Tuesday, took to the streets again, along with others who have joined their cause, to scream with joy. They’ve said that the protest planned for Thursday evening in São Paulo will now be a celebration.

“Let’s keep our gathering going to celebrate and also to stand in solidarity with other cities who still want their fare readjustments revoked,” said Caio Martins, 19, a member of the MPL.

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