The number of cars on the country’s roads is set to top 80 million in 2013.
My wife went to Brasilia to visit friends last Thursday a week ago. Went by bus. Bought her ticket online. Took 15 minutes to get to the bus station from our apartment – normal. At the bus station, check-in took less than 5 minutes. The bus was new. The highway to Brasilia is four-lane. Normal travel time is 2 hrs 45 min. Brasilia has a new bus station.
Interstate and Intercity bus services can still be hit and miss depending on the region, but for the most part it is good. Many of the highways may not have improved over the last 20 years, but the bus services have.
When I went to pick her up on Saturday, it took an hour to get to the bus station – not normal. but this is happening more frequently on the major avenues in the city. The parking lot at the bus station was full, but there were spaces available for old folks that had not been stolen by young folks. Other people either double-parked, or drove around in circles. The return trip to our apt was quicker as I took a different route. Unfortunately, the routes to the bus station are limited and this subject to these sudden traffic jams.
What is happening now are: “traffic jams out of the blue” There is no slack in the system. Streets are overloaded much of the time. If there is an accident, power failure or whatever, the system pretty much comes to a standstill. During rush hour…. well …. best to avoid it.
Goiania, which was a relatively easy city to get around in a few years back, is not today. In another 10 years or less, we will be a like Sao Paulo, where gridlock is not uncommon.
I have a friend who lives in Belo Horizonte. If he goes to work during rush hour, it can take him an hour to an hour and a half. If he goes after rush hour, takes about 15 minutes. Luckily, he has a flexible work hours.
So if you move to Brazil, live in a small town on the beach unless you love urban traffic jams.