World Bank approves $650 mln or Sao Paulo metro project

10:17, April 21, 2010      

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The World Bank Tuesday approved a 650-million-U.S.-dollar loan to the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in support of the city's Metro Line 5 Project.

The project will improve the access of metropolitan Sao Paulo's almost 20 million residents, and particularly the poor, to safer, faster and more reliable public transportation, and finance studies to help decrease greenhouse gas emissions by the metro system, said the World Bank in a statement.

"The expansion plan of rail-based passenger transport is an absolute priority for the Government of Sao Paulo, and the extension of Line 5 is fundamental to the integration of the entire southern zone of the city to the system, improving the quality of life in the most populous region of the Capital," said the Governor of Sao Paulo, Alberto Goldman in a statement.

The project is expected to help improve the city's serious transit congestion problem by continuing the integration process for the subway, commuter rail and bus networks. This will improve access to affordable transport for the low-income population, and help decrease one of the highest Metro passenger indices in the world.

"The project is expected to significantly improve the well- being of the urban poor in the City of Sao Paulo," said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Director for Brazil. "They are the main users of public transport, spend over a fifth of their income in fares, and are the affected the most by problems such as shortage of capacity at peak hours and long journeys to and from work and other public services."

The World Bank loan will finance the acquisition and installation of at least 26 new trains and signaling equipment, as well as purchase platform screen doors for all stations of Line 5, as a part of the Brazilian city's broader, 2.2 billion dollar project.

According to the World Bank, since the first loan in 1952, the Bank has invested approximately 4 billion dollars, in Sao Paulo, including Tuesday's loan.

Source: Xinhua


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