Rousseff Says Government to Fund Subway Project in Porto Alegre

President Dilma Rousseff said her government will help fund a subway project in southern Brazil, part of $23 billion dedicated to transportation-spending projects spurred earlier this year by angry Brazilians.

Rousseff said today the government will contribute 1.8 billion reais ($827.2 million) toward a 4.8 billion reais subway in the city of Porto Alegre. The government also has earmarked funds for a 2.6 billion reais subway line in Rio de Janeiro state, and 5.2 billion reais for a project in Sao Paulo which includes a bus line.

Rousseff first promised the new expenditures in June as she sought to calm protests that began over a bus-fare increase. The demonstrations grew in size and scope, with more than 1 million people participating, and their demands increasing to include more funding for health care and education, as well as public transportation, in addition to an end to corruption.

“Brazil didn’t invest in urban mobility in an adequate way for 30 to 40 years,” Rousseff said in a speech to Porto Alegre’s legislative assembly today.

“The federal government opened up new investment of 50 billon reais following manifestations in June,” she said. “The pact for urban mobility takes into account that people want quality public services after Brazil grew frighteningly in recent years.”

The 11.7-kilometer (7.25-mile) subway project will have two lines to move 325,000 passengers between 10 stations daily, she said, without providing further details.

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