Today is the World's Carfree Day. Yeap, 22nd of September. Nevertheless, the traffic in Sao Paulo is as intense as usually. For today being Monday, it actually seems even heavier than normally in the beginning of the week.
I know that because I take a bus every day for at least 45 minutes to work and depending on traffic, minimum 1 hour, maximum 2 to get home. My work is about 40 km from home.
Well ... at least it's a bus of about 50 people in it, not a car, right? and runs on biodiesel, not petroleum. So a bit better? And the company neutralizes carbon emissions. Should be alright then?
Yeah, I guess that's a pretty good option for commuting. Just that ... there's NO MORE SPACE on the streets! And even if someone wanted to choose a public transport or a bicycle, then ... the public transport is crowded, and for the second option - you'd be suicidal, if you wanted to bicycle in SP!
Quick fact: in a city of 13 million (with Grange Sao Paulo about 18 million) there's about 4,5 km bicycle roads outside of parks.
AND...here come some Sao Paulo traffic stats:
- more than 6 million cars on the streets, which, when lined up would almost reach around the world (40 000 km)
- 48 571 new cars in March alone (64% increase compared to the previous year)
- in 12 month period the number of cars increased 6,7% compared to the year before, which is 16 times more than the rate of population growth in Sao Paulo (0,41%)
- Daily, 1000 new cars are bought, in March the number grew up to 1500
- Average speed at the peak hour is 27 km per hour for cars and 12 km/h for public bus
One of the strategies the city implements is "rodizio": depending on your plate number, you are not allowed on the streets on certain days or hours (to alleviate the burden on the streets to accommodate the cars).
When I asked my friend, what would he do if the "rodizio" became tougher, he simply said, he'd get a second car.
Well, can't really blame him. Depending on a route, to cover a distance of 1 hr car ride, it could sometimes take up to 3 hours by public transport!!
They say, the metro system has been under financed for the last 28 years... as well as the bicycle roads ... and I think, there's quite a work to be done for responsible consumerism as well.
I wonder how much would the mainsteam ways of working change in the future due to traffic conditions (home office, flexible working hours etc.). It is already happening, I am just wondering about the mainstreaming effect...
I am curious about the future of our Sao Paulo.