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  • Possible Strike Latest Headache for Rio Olympics


    (ATR) Rio Municipal Secretary of Transportation Rafael Picciani tells Around the Rings alternate routes of transportation are already planned if a metro strike does go through.

    Picciani, center, speaks about transportation contingencies (ATR)
    The Subway Works Union of Rio de Janeiro SIMERJ says that they are prepared to strike on midnight August 4 if an adequate wage increase is not reached. Meetings are expected to continue in the coming days, and the Rio de Janeiro Ministry of Public Works continues to work to broker a deal.

    A spokesperson from MetrôRio said to ATR that they believe “there is no possibility of strike yet.” The same spokesperson conceded that there is no metro contingency plan in the event of a strike, leaving Olympic commuters potentially at a loss to travel around the city to Olympic venues.

    Picciani told ATR that spectators should not worry themselves with a potential strike, but said contingency plans were in place to help spectators reach all venues around the city. He said that all spectators should consult the website to plan out transit plans, or install the app Moovit as a trip planner.

    “If a temporary breakdown occurs, the city will have another kind of service to replace the one that suffered the interruption,” Picciani said. “Everything that is necessary is planned if there is the need to put into practice the contingency plans the quality of service may be reduced but we are sure that the public will plan for displacement.”

    A metro workers strike could not come at a worse time for Olympic organizers, who are just moving past the organizational crisis regarding the Olympic Village. Throughout the past year Rio 2016, IOC, and government officials have repeatedly guaranteed the readiness of the metro line 4 expansion as part of the Olympic project. The line, which runs from the city’s South Zone to Barra da Tijuca, will connect the area to the rest of Rio’s transport infrastructure. It will also allow for streamlined public transportation use from downtown straight to the Olympic Park.

    Contingency plans will likely include bus routes, which may not go along the Olympic lanes, putting them at risk to be stuck in traffic.

    “We are sure that the public will get to know the mode of public transportation to access the venue if there is any need,” Picciani said. “There will be time to do new planning and to get to the competition venue in time.”

    Written by Aaron Bauer in Rio de Janeiro

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