The Central do Brasil station, in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the main access to the city. More than 600 000 people pass by every day, users of its facilities or of the several means of transportation. Indeed, this multimodal hub is served by metropolitan trains, metro, a tramway and local and metropolitan buses.
Nevertheless, unfortunately, the accesses to different transport infrastructures aren’t part of a single space, with no global arrangement. In addition, the station’s outside is somewhat organized, if not dangerous by night.
Since 2017, the station is subject of the technical cooperation AFD-CODATU with the Rio de Janeiro State. The carried-out workshops in this context showed that immediate action could improve a little bit the station ambience and, at the same time, prepare and facilitate the transformation of Central do Brasil into a new generation station, boosting its role as metropolis centrality.
In this context, from January 21st till February 26th, an urban laboratory was installed in the Central do Brasil station with the following goals:
- To offer a relaxing space, with some seats, power sockets for cell phone recharging and free access to Wi-Fi;
- To provide users with information about the public transport metropolitan network, the station neighbourhood and the first phase of the study for the renovation of Central do Brasil and its neighbourhood;
- To understand the neighbourhood users and residents needs and collect improvements suggestions.
Photos: Folguedo / LMF Fotografia
The action was extensively disclosed on social media as #RenovaCentral.
More than 1000 replies were obtained in situ by the hostess and more 1000 via social media and via Wi-Fi access. The obtained information will be exploited by responsible institutions as inputs of the project next phases.
On February 14th, one playful action interacting with the users was held, counting on SETRANS, Câmara Metropolitana and Rio de Janeiro City Hall teams. By a kind of origin-destination survey, users were invited to plot on a metropolitan are map their itineraries passing by Central do Brasil station. The goal was to increase users’ understanding of the metropolitan transportation network, to show alternative routes for their commuting and to listen to their improvement suggestions for metropolitan transport.
Estimates indicate that 5000 people stopped by the stand during the 5-week operation period. Users’ feedbacks are very positive. They told that the stand could stay longer than five weeks and asked for the replication of this idea in other stations.