The light rail cars that will circulate in downtown Rio and the Port Region will connect the area through 6 lines and 32 stops, stretching over 28 kilometers (17 miles). Light rail will strengthen the city´s integrated public transportation system, which links subway stations, trains, ferries, bus rapid transit, conventional bus lines and airports. The six lines will serve the Novo Rio bus terminal, Santos Dumont local airport, Central do Brasil and Leopoldina train stations and Barcas ferry terminal. Integration with other public transit services will improve traffic in downtown Rio by reducing the flow of buses and by decreasing traffic and congestion. Streets in the Port Region are now being readied for this new public transportation.
With an average distance between stations of 300 meters (1,300 ft), each car will hold up to 415 passengers and the maximum wait time will range from 2,5 to10 minutes, depending upon the line.
There is nothing like Rio´s future light rail anywhere else in Brazil. In fact, the model is unprecedented worldwide. The trains will have no aboveground wires and will be fed by two energy sources. Along some stretches and at stops there will be an energized third rail. Every time the train brakes, energy will also be generated and then stored by a supercapacitor. These technologies are already in use in other places around the world but only individually; Rio´s novel combination of the two will enhance safety and afford savings. All cars will be handicap accessible and air-conditioned.
It is expected that the six lines are in operation by 2016. Costs for implementing the new transportation system are projected at US$450 million [R$1.1 billion], of which US$245 million [R$500 million] will be provided by the federal government through funds from the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC); the remainder will be financed under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).