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SBD Global/March 8, 2013/Events and Attractions

Brazil Transportation Worries Mounting On Heels Of 2014 FIFA World Cup

The public transport projects designed to modernize Brazilian cities for the 2014 World Cup "are being scaled back, delayed or cancelled as legal challenges, corruption and a lack of planning threaten to rob locals of the tournament's most lasting legacy," according to Andrew Downie of REUTERS. The 12 host cities, keen to use the event to overhaul aging urban infrastructure, "laid out ambitious plans to build new metro lines, monorails and dedicated bus lanes" but, with 15 months to go before the games kick off, "it seems unlikely that all the projects will come to fruition." Former Brazilian World Cup winner and now lawmaker in Brazil's Congress Romario said, "The much-discussed social legacy looks like it won't get off the drawing board. Almost all the transport projects are behind schedule, some have been put back and will be opened only after the World Cup and others have been cancelled altogether." Federal Audits Court who monitors World Cup planning official Valmir Campelo said that five cities -- Brasilia, Fortaleza, Manaus, Salvador and Sao Paulo -- "would not have the promised tram lines, express lanes for buses or metro links ready for the opening match on June 12." World Cup organizers "play down the setbacks and say the host cities are still being transformed." Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo argues that other big sporting events, such as the 2012 and 2008 Olympics, "had similar teething problems." Nevertheless, it "seems clear that the situation is not as rosy as it was supposed to be" (REUTERS, 3/5)
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