Case Study Source: The Joint U.S.-Brazil Initiative on Urban Sustainability, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


In the City of Rio de Janeiro, a staggering 74% of motorized trips take place by public transportation, and traffic congestion is at an all-time high at more than one hour of commute time (per trip) on average. Most areas in Rio de Janeiro are served by public transportation, but in many areas, those with the option prefer private car use because it seems the more convenient choice. This preference is due in part to the lack of convenient access to public transportation.

Efficient intermodal stations are an effective way of enticing potential users. Providing seamless transfers, accessible stations, real-time schedules, and a comprehensive integrated network, intermodal stations may be a key missing link in improving public transportation mobility. Intermodal stations are a critical, yet mostly overlooked, part of a city's transportation system. Effective and efficient intermodal stations provide several benefits to the user, including greater time savings, greater convenience with connections, and improved systemwide connectivity.


The City of Rio de Janeiro has identified the need for efficient intermodal stations and has included plans to implement several stations in critical areas of the City. In light of the upcoming global events of FIFA 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro is planning to implement a comprehensive network of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors, which will serve close to 2 million people per day. This additional infrastructure will be incorporated into an already extensive network comprising bus, Metro, cycling, and suburban rail services. The new intermodal station locations were strategically chosen for high demand and visibility, primarily adjacent to the 2016 Olympic sites. The goal of the City is to provide intermodal stations that are convenient, accessible, and widely used.


Adding intermodal stations along busy routes should encourage modal shifts by making public transport easier to use while improving mobility and accessibility in affected regions. As a result, this shift can translate into decreased emissions of particulate matter and greenhouse gases, improving air quality and mitigating climate change by promoting public transport use in lieu of private vehicles.

Contact Information

Secretaria Municipal de Transporte (SMTR)
Information Management Assistant
Simone Costa Rodrigues da Silva