Saturday, 2 June 2012

Alternatives to sustainable transportation

The city of São Paulo in Brazil one of the main the business centers of Latin America is well known by its cosmopolitan lifestyle with great options of restaurants and night life.

São Paulo is also known for its terrible traffic, one of the worst in the World. The huge amount of cars and a poor public transportation do the Paulistano spend in average nearly 3 hours a day stuck in the traffic, causing, according some studies, estimated losses of 33M per year.

A recent initiative of the government in partnership with private companies (Banco Itaú) is trying to solve part of the problem by changing the way people move around the city. The alternative is to invest in bike renting system similar to which is used in France and UK. The system allows the users to rent a bike in one of the bike station for short journeys around the city.

In addition to diminishing traffic congestion, such option reduces the emission of CO2 on the atmosphere and, as a consequence, contributes to the improvement of the quality of the air.
The system is working well so far, but to make a real impact on quality of life the number of users need to increase significantly. To do this the Government should increase investment in exclusive routes for bicycles and educational programs focused on changing the mindset of the population with emphasis on the advantages of use bicycles instead of cars to cover short and medium distances.

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