24 September 2018

Technical cooperation Brazil – The first results of the studies for the renovation of the Central do Brasil (RJ) and Palmeiras-Barra Funda (SP) stations

As part of the technical cooperation signed between AFD, IdF Mobilités, the State of Rio de Janeiro (ERJ) and the State of São Paulo (ESP), two prefeasibility studies for the transformation of Central do Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro, and Palmeiras-Barra Funda, in São Paulo, into new generations stations are financed by AFD. These studies are being developed by Egis-Arep consortium since April 2018. CODATU participates providing a technical assistance.

In the end of June 2018, two events were held to present the results of the first phase of the studies. The Mission 1 consists of an urban, mobility and users flow in the station diagnosis. The challenges to overcome during the deployment and the first intervention ideas imagined by the consultants were also contemplated.

The technical meeting in Rio de Janeiro, held on June 26th, validated the diagnosis carried out by the consultants, confirming Central do Brasil standing as a growth and urban dynamic vector of Rio de Janeiro downtown, but influencing the whole metropolitan area as well. The presence of the different transportation modes guarantees to the Central do Brasil neighbourhood a role as centrality and modal shift node. However, user experience during this shift could be strengthened through, among other things, the organization of the informal street vendors and as improved sense of safety. Finally, the greater passengers’ flows happen between the suburban trains and the subway. An interesting fact is that a lot of people walk from the station to the central business district, located around 1,5 km from Central do Brasil. This phenomenon can be related to the lack of fare integration between suburban trains and the municipality services (buses and tramway), so users rather walk 20 minutes than paying another ticket.

The workshop in São Paulo was held in June 28th. The consultants presented the Palmeiras-Barra Funda station important role as neighbourhood and city development driver, fostering the establishment of important industries around it in the beginning of the 20th century. Moreover, users’ flow is quite significant, especially between suburban trains and the subway. In addition, there is an important flow coming from local and long-distance buses, as well as people that use the station as a footbridge between both sides of the railway. Nevertheless, the presentation showed that the pedestrian routes could be enhanced and that the deployment of bicycles infrastructure could encourage the access to the station through the existent cycle paths. Concerning the station flows, it was found that, apart the huge shift between trains and subway, the Southern access is the most used one, due to the existence of several bus stops, universities and cultural and leisure equipments. However, some users’ flow conflicts were highlighted and should be addressed during the study.

Thanks to the multiplicity of institutions presented in both events, the group work allowed the identification of the criteria to be used for the evaluation of the scenario propositions in the next phases of the study.

In Rio de Janeiro, it was highlighted subjects such as urban integration and user experience, especially concerning safety, building rehabilitation for social housing, arrangement between pedestrians and vehicles flows, green landscapes strengthening around the station and coordination of the several stakeholders from public and private spheres.

In São Paulo, the highlighted topics were urban integration, intermodality and planning, especially concerning transfer times, general accessibility and budget and contracting process.

In both cities, Etienne Lhomet represented Lina Singer, landscaper for urban transportation projects. The speech covered the important role of a transportation landscaper, emphasizing the itinerary integration within the city in such a way that the transportation system be legible and simple to understand by the population, allowing its social appropriation. This presentation complemented the variety of professions involved in urban mobility projects that has been presented since the beginning of the technical cooperation with both Brazilian States. At the previous workshops, experts of different profiles participated such as architect and urban planner, engineer, sociologist, economist, digital specialist and business development specialist.

The studies second phase aims to provide two scenarios for both sites functional program, with implementation costs estimation. The next events within the framework of the studies are scheduled in the second week of September.

In December 2018, the results of the third phase will allow evaluate the relevance of pursuing the studies of the stations and their transformation into new generation stations.