A future with less traffic? Expatriate Transportation in São Paulo [3-minute read]

    Nov 22, 2017 @ 07:00 AM / by Meleah Paull

    Sao Paulo, Brazil as seen during AIRINC's recent on-site survey. Photo taken by Meleah Paull.

    Expatriate Transportation: Traffic in Sao Paulo

    As the most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, São Paulo is infamous for its traffic, regularly landing on top-ten lists of most hours spent behind the wheel. Despite what seems like unending congestion in the city, there are at least two times of year when residents get some reprieve. The month of July, when I visited the city for survey, is a school break when fewer students are navigating the city and many families leave the city entirely for vacation.

    Similarly, during the Carnival season that takes place during February and/or March (depending on the date of Easter), less people commute as work hours are reduced or eliminated for some, and some people travel to other parts of Brazil. Both periods can reduce time spent in traffic by as much as half.

    Helicopter Taxis and Beltways: Can Sao Paulo's traffic be mitigated?

    The rest of the year, car commuters are still stuck with the usual snarled streets. Some take to the skies, using mobile apps to hail helicopter taxis, while those who live and work close to the limited Metro system, may utilize public transportation to escape the jams of rush hour on the streets above.

    Other solutions have included reducing the number of vehicles on roads by constructing the Rodoanel Mario Covas, an almost-completed beltway connecting highways outside of the city intended to ease pass-through traffic in the city center.

    Minhocão Highway Transformation

    The city is also exploring ways to transform the relationship of the city’s residents with the streets and highways. One piece of this plan has been the transformation of the elevated Minhocão highway, which converts into a pedestrian walkway and social space during non-peak hours after 9pm on weekdays and all day on Sunday, when usage is low. In the past two years, vertical gardens have appeared on buildings surrounding the highway, some designed by famous artists.

    The mayor of São Paulo, João Doria, includes the revitalization of the Minhocão in his vision for São Paulo, among reforms proposing expansion of bike lanes and increased public security through security cameras and drones. If reforms are successful, living in Brazil’s economic powerhouse may get a little easier for international assignees.

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    This post is taken from On-site Insight, AIRINC’s in-house global mobility blog. On-site Insight provides AIRLinc subscribers with an exclusive “behind-the-surveys” insight into new and existing expatriate locations based on commentary and photos from our global research team. Included is information on general living conditions as well as changing costs for both goods and services and housing and utilities, along with much, much more! To find out more, click here

    Topics: On-site Insight, Brazil, Insights and Experience, Transportation Data, Sao Paulo, expatriate transportation

    Meleah Paull

    Written by Meleah Paull

    Meleah joined AIRINC in 2015 as a surveyor and became an analyst in 2017. Her primary responsibilities include conducting international pricing and housing surveys and analyzing the returned data. She received her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Washington and her M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University. In addition to English, Meleah speaks some Italian and Slovene. She is based in Cambridge, MA.