The City Hall of Belo Horizonte (PBH) and the Presidency of the City Council announced on Thursday (25) that they will inject public money into bus companies so that the ticket price decreases from R$ 6 to R$ 4.50. According to information from PBH, the companies will receive R$ 512 million, of which R$ 392 million will come from the City Hall coffers and R$ 120 million from the Chamber.
The subsidy still depends on the approval of Bill (PL) 538, which has been pending in the Chamber since March 21. In a meeting on Monday (22), the college of leaders unanimously positioned itself for the approval of the PL, however, with the guarantee that the passage will be reduced. The president of the House, Gabriel Azevedo (without party), meets with the municipal secretary of Finance, Leonardo Colombini, to address the issue.
The two powers expect the rate to return to R$4.50 as of July.
The tariff reduction proposal takes place more than a month after the increase to R$ 6, authorized by the Court of Justice of Minas Gerais (TJMG). In the meantime, movements held several street demonstrations to denounce the delay in negotiations between the public authorities and bus company owners.
Economist André Veloso, member of the Tarifa Zero BH movement, is apprehensive about the claim that the reduction in fares will be automatic. “The tariff has not yet reduced. We only believe when we see it”, he declared.
In addition to the possible decrease in price, the economist criticizes the fact that the negotiation has not achieved significant victories for the other popular interests in relation to public transport.
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In the month of March alone, Belo Horizonte City Hall received 4,708 complaints, according to the latest report on public transport performance, released on April 18. The most recurrent ones deal with air conditioning malfunction (7%), vehicle conservation (7%) and non-compliance with the itinerary (5%).
According to PBH, the BRL 512 million subsidy will be linked to maintenance, cleaning and the presence of air conditioning on buses, functions that must be performed by companies. According to the city hall, 10% more trips and 420 new buses will also be required.
The execution of past fines or more incisive actions based on recurring complaints already made by users were not mentioned. For André Veloso, the negotiation should also have dealt with this liability.
“What we need is for bus companies to pay what they owe the population, stop humiliating the population and be held accountable for infractions. The City Hall’s posture has not shown that it is willing to hold companies accountable and the Chamber has not been able, or did not want, to hold companies accountable in this agreement”, he countered.
How to report an infringement
Users of the public transport system can make comments via the BH Digital app or via WhatsApp (31) 98472-5715.
Source: BdF Minas Gerais
Editing: Larissa Costa
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