Mayors of the country’s main capitals and large cities asked this Monday (17) for a meeting with President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in January or early February to defend the institution of a federal subsidy for urban transport.
Pressured by the increase in diesel used in buses and the salary readjustments of workers in the sector, both municipalities and service providers claim that the Union should at least pay for the system’s gratuities, which would cost around R$ 5 billion per year. .
In a letter written today, after a meeting of the executive board, the National Front of Mayors (FNP) claims that it is necessary to “institute an emergency program of immediate financial assistance to minimize readjustments in public transport fares”.
For this reason, the organization asks for an audience with Bolsonaro in which the mayors of São Paulo, Ricardo Nunes (MDB); from Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes (PSD); from Curitiba, Rafael Greca (DEM); from Salvador, Bruno Reis (DEM); from Porto Alegre, Sebastião Melo (MDB); from São José dos Campos, Felício Ramuth (PSDB); and from Ribeirão Preto, Duarte Nogueira (PSDB).
From November to Friday (14), 43 municipalities, including 4 capitals, readjusted bus fares at rates ranging from 2% to over 50%, according to the National Association of Urban Transport Companies (NTU).
Across the country, the transport system has an estimated cost of R$ 40 billion, of which half refers to labor costs and almost 27% to the price of diesel. Apart from that, businessmen in the sector observe that free services already represent 20% of the passengers transported.
“Demand dropped significantly with the pandemic, but there is already a history of reducing passengers transported by bus, in addition to the increase in gratuities. That’s why the solution is not to increase tariffs, but subsidies, as the United States and European countries do”, says Otávio Cunha, executive president of NTU.
Last Tuesday (11), the mayor of Porto Alegre met with Bolsonaro and pointed out the seriousness of the scenario.
“I reminded the president that in 2013 we experienced that wave of street protests over 20 cents,” said Sebastião Melo. “Freedom for those over 65 is a constitutional right, so the federal subsidy is legitimate. Today, it is the poor citizen who depends on the bus who is paying for those who do not pay a ticket.”
The mayors defend the approval of a bill in Congress, presented by Senators Nelsinho Trad (PSD-MS) and Giordano (MDB-SP), which establishes the financing of bus tickets for those over 65 throughout the country. , through a National Program for Assistance to the Mobility of the Elderly in Urban Areas (PNAMI).
In a November meeting with the mayor of São Paulo and other local representatives, Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG) stated that he would put the proposal on the House agenda in February, after the return of the legislative recess.
“Approval of the proposal is fundamental, as we pointed out to both President Rodrigo Pacheco and President (of the Chamber) Arthur Lira (PP-AL)”, he said on Friday to the CNN Ricardo Nunes.
Reference: CNN Brasil