2 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2014 12:18 PM by daniel.kriske RSS

    Thoughts on transport issues at the World Cup?

    daniel.kriske C4D Connoisseur

      Dear Urban Transport Community,


      As I'm sure you're all aware, the 2014 FIFA World Cup has been taking place in Brazil over the past two weeks.  With such a great influx of people into the already notoriously crowded metropolises of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero, transportation concerns are of overwhelming importance.


      Is anyone there currently, or has anyone been there recently, that can comment on the transport system upgrades?  Any thoughts or comments on the successes or failures of urban transport to meet the increased demand during this busy and fun time are welcome!



      Daniel Kriske

        • Re: Thoughts on transport issues at the World Cup?
          C4D Connoisseur

          Dear Daniel,


          I was not in Brazil, but I tried to follow the news related with the dramatic rise of the public transportation´s demand that the medium and large cities in Brazil should deal because of the World Cup. Yesterday I found these articles. It is interesting how the local and foreign approach contrast between each other.


          In the case of Latin American cities, it is a great challenge to host a great global event like the world soccer cup. My city and country (Guayaquil and Ecuador), do not have the public transport infrastructure to address the demand of local and regional transportation. This is clearly a relevant limitation for applying to host an international event that could help to shake the local economy.


          In my opinion, the tourist flows between cities and inside cities in Brazil during the World Cup were not so fluid like in European World Cup cities (France 1998, Germany 2006). For example, the transportation networks in Germany are relatively efficient and well connected between each other. In the case of provinces like Nordheim Wesfalia, with a total population of 11 million inhabitants and small and medium size cities (from 10.000 to 500.000), the interconnection between train, bus, trams, cycles and pedestrian ways is sucessfull. 

          In the case of Brazilean cities, inhabitants and visitors had some problems with the transport systems during the World Cup.  Especially, in overcrowded and large megacities like Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, the rise of the demand of connectivity and mobility complicated more the traditional traffic problems. But, according with local news, Brazil dealt with it.

          The transportation between cities was also a big concern for the National Government. One strategy was to negotiate with local airlines in order to decrease the costs of flights between cities. But I am not sure, if this strategy worked efficiently. Also, I am not sure, if Brazil has an efficient railway network that connects the biggest cities.


          Please, could somebody contribute with more information? By the way, congratulations Germany!


          Kind regards,



          World Cup 2014: five things they said would go wrong in Brazil | Football | The Guardian


          Brazil claims 'victory' in World Cup - CNN.com

            • Re: Thoughts on transport issues at the World Cup?
              daniel.kriske C4D Connoisseur

              Dear Ricardo,


              Thanks for your analysis and the links to the two articles.


              All the information I've come across discussing transport issues during the Cup leads to the same conclusion -- the games were a logistical success that surpassed expectations.  From widespread protests to a workers' strike of the Sao Paulo Metro leading up to the games, those watching were skeptical of Brazil's ability to deliver.  


              Unfortunately, most of the articles I read on the transport issues focus on intercity transport, rather than local public transportation.  Does anyone have any figures for intracity public transport ridership during the games? As you mentioned, Ricardo, the government did focus their investments in the airline sector, which did see a lot of use -- over 600,000 foreigners traveled to Brazil for the Cup, and 3 million Brazilians traveled within their country to attend the games.  The airline sector reported high reliability rankings during the Cup: in the period between June 12 and July 10, with only 6.6 percent of the country's flights running late (compared to 7.6 percent in Europe in 2013). Interestingly, while the sector received investment and even new airports, total passenger numbers were down.  Wishing to avoid transport hassles, many business and corporate travelers (a crucial passenger contingent) rescheduled meetings and conferences to avoid travel. 


              Now, with everyone eagerly awaiting the 2016 Olympics in Rio -- an Olympic games that now has lofty expectations after the success of the World Cup -- we'll hopefully get a clear analysis of the city's transport preparations.  Brazil has now shown that they can deliver a massive sporting event; the pressure will be on to repeat the success.


              One other bit of info I found intriguing: the harsh criticisms of Brazil's prioritizing investments in football stadiums over healthcare seem to be misconstrued.  Between 2010 and 2014 (the period of stadium construction) investments in healthcare and education exceeded those in stadiums by a factor of 200 to 1.


              Brazil congratulates itself for World Cup success | New Straits Times

              Rio 2016 Olympics organisers confident after Brazil’s World Cup success | Sport | The Guardian