Rio mayor makes vans illegal

Lots of Rio news these days, I know…

Eduardo Paes, Rio’s mayor, has declared (PT) it illegal to operate vans, kombis and mini-buses in Botafogo, Humaitá, Urca, Leme, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Lagoa, Jardim Botânico, Gávea, Vidigal, São Conrado and Rocinha. That’s a pretty big change. In over half of those neighborhoods, I would take vans to get where I was going and these vans were almost always full.

The new law takes effect this Monday, April 15th. Paes states that the plan to stop vans from operating was already ready to go into effect in April, despite recent events like the rape of an American student, etc. He also says the Zona Sul has enough transportation services such as buses, taxis and the metro and that, in the near future, the ban will extend to other neighborhoods like downtown Rio. While it’s true that there are other ways of getting around town, those who live in Rio know that buses aren’t the safest means of transport. The ‘bus mafia’ has obviously made an offer Paes can’t refuse…

A radio interview with the mayor can be heard here (in PT).

7 thoughts on “Rio mayor makes vans illegal

    • Me, too! It’s being turned into something strictly for the well-to-do and tourists. I have a friend from California that has been living there for over a decade and he often tells me how nice it was back when he first arrived.

      While I’ve always loved Rio, there are times when I think fondly on my months spent in Natal. Small, safe, sunny, cheap and with plenty of coastline.

      • Yes, I love where my Mom lives, a little town in sul da Bahia near Porto Seguro, Santa Cruz Cabrália. It always takes some adjustment for me when I go to the cities — and I live in NYC!

  1. Any benefits to taking the vans? I was afraid to use them. hehehe Mainly due to the fact that I was unaware of their stops.

    • For me, it was just easy. Plus if you wanted to get out on any particular corner, you could just tell the driver or cobrador. The stops can be any place from where it starts to where it finishes. So if you’re in Copa and wanted to go to Gávea, there was the 323 (if I remember correctly) which went along the beach and took a right on one of Leblon’s main streets, cutting through Leblon on its way to Gávea. Wherever you wanted to get off, you could just announce it.

  2. I am finding this kind of hard to believe. Getting rid of the vans? With all the pressure on public transport that we already have? I guess the meeting must have gone like this:

    [someone else]: “But won’t this mean that everyone using vans will pile onto the buses instead? Those things are overcrowded enough already!”

    [Paes, or whoever]: “Only poor people use vans and buses, who gives a f*ck?”

    [someone else]: “Oh yeah, good point.”

    Surely the right move was simply to bring in proper regulation and enforcement…?

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