Sunday, 16 June 2013

20 centavos

Posted by a fb friend today and she's covered pretty much what I wanted to say, plus she's a public transport expert...

At last an article that touches upon the actual issue of how poor public transport is in much of São Paulo, rather than just sensationalising some of the violence seen in protests against the 20 centavo fare increase. 

20 centavos may not seem like much, but this is a city where many of the poorest residents already spend more than a third of their scarce income on public transport - for the privilege of standing up for hours on buses which are poor quality, unreliable and way overfull.

Research by the LSE Urban Age showed that the combination of São Paulo's low quality public transport and peripheralisation of poor communities compounds existing economic and social exclusion, even worse than cities with comparable income inequalities. If the city is going to increase the fares, it needs to radically rethink the services it is offering.

And meantime, the brutalised culture of the riot police also needs to be 2011 I watched riot police storm, teargas and shoot at a small peaceful protest on SP's Avenida Paulista...a violent response to this kind of oppression of democracy is not surprising, but sadly distorts the messages we get from the media about the real issues at stake.

And some more reading on CNN and on Folha de São Paulo and a fellow blogger here.

And another protest this afternoon organised on Facebook. Even if you can't join, you can show your support by putting a white towel in your window. 

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