Submitted by Daniel Setton
If growth estimate of 2.5% of the Brazilian urban population and 4% of the vehicle fleet are maintained, the urban mobility scenario in the future will be more and more congestion in large Brazilian cities. Approximately 506 million more hours are spent per year for public transport users, 258 million liters of fuel spent more per year and environmental pollution that can be measured at 123 thousand tons of carbon monoxide and 11 thousand tons of hydrocarbons dumped into the atmosphere, according to ANTP (National Association of Public Transport). The quality of life of the cities is degraded due to the congestion and the disorderly occupation of the spaces.
The main roads, such as avenues and bridges, quickly saturate with the rapidly increasing car fleet. The struggle for quality public transport, accessible to all social classes, comfortable and efficient, is just beginning. There is a long way to go to reach acceptable levels.
Providing good and inexpensive transportation is critical to the good quality of city life. In this line, it is commendable the proposal of the federal government to meet an old claim of the sector, exempting people from taxes that affect urban collective transportation tariffs throughout the country.
Urban mobility today is on the priority of claims. There was a stimulus to the production of automobiles through the reduction of taxes, the growth of the middle class with the policy of improving the distribution of income, and the freeze for more than seven years in gasoline prices. All this made cities nonviable.
Collective transportation was left in the background, as the prevailing view prioritized the short term for economic growth, given the high multiplier effect of the auto industry.
The best would have been to prioritize urban and metropolitan collective transportation. The gasoline would be increased by Cide (a Brazilian gas company), whose resources would be destined to the expansion of subways, trains, and buses.
According to the consultant Amir Khair, the values needed for collective transportation to reduce the tariff and invest in equipment and urban road should reach more than a hundred billion dollars per year. And he points out that these resources for transportation would only be viable by the elevation via Cide of gasoline, which was zeroed. It is individual transportation financing collective transportation.
The biggest challenge today is the city believing in the possibility of reducing the displacements by the automobile. The era so dreamed up by city planners free of cars will not mean the end of the individual vehicle, but certainly the end of their hegemony and the beginning of a relationship of coexistence with pedestrians, cyclists and with public transportation, where the automobile will be a form of compliment to the structural system.
Let’s look at our customs and put our hands on our conscience about the rational and caring use of the car to fight pollution and reduce private and public spending. We will encourage behavior compatible with sustainable development and in particular with the protection of air quality, noise reduction and prevention of the greenhouse effect. Let us be aware of the use of an alternative transport to the car, providing opportunities to travel by foot, bicycle or public transportation. Let’s stop clogging our cities of cars, while the rest of the world invests in public transport urban mass. We will fight for cities to be redesigned to make life easier for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users.
Submitted by Daniel Setton
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