Public transport by bus in the country operates with just over half of the pre-pandemic passenger demand and already adds up to a loss of R$ 16.7 billion in Brazil.
The data are from the yearbook released this Monday (20) by the NTU (National Association of Urban Transport Companies), an entity that brings together companies that provide urban and metropolitan bus services in the country.
The financial impact counts from March 2020 to June this year, when social isolation rules due to the coronavirus pandemic generated a drastic reduction in passenger demand.
The data show that, in 2020, there was a drop of 51% in travel by paying passengers on buses compared to the previous year, considering the average for the months of April and October. If considered only in April, the fall was even more pronounced: 67%.
“From August 2020 to June 2021, the decrease in demand stabilized between 35% and 40%, according to the same monitoring. That is, more than a year after the start of the pandemic, there is still no signs of recovery demand towards the levels observed previously”, says the document.
The public transport sector was already experiencing financing difficulties before the pandemic, which sought to define a sustainable model to guarantee the universal functioning of urban transport. Now the situation has escalated to the point where NTU defines the current situation as “on the brink of collapse”.
The document also brings a series of data related to the pandemic, including the closure of transport companies and service stoppages.
“We are still very far from that demand, which was already insufficient to maintain the service with economic stability”, said the president of the NTU, Otávio Vieira da Cunha Filho, during a seminar organized by the organization. “The crisis is installed because the sector is not sustainable” , complete.
According to the document, passenger demand today is between 50% and 60%. The offer of vehicles varies between 80% and 100%.
According to him, however, in São Paulo, the situation differs a little from the rest of the country, with an offer of 100% of the service and demand around 80% of what was registered in the pre-pandemic period. The city has a different financing model in relation to many other cities in the country, since the remuneration does not only occur for transported passengers and there is an important subsidized portion.
According to the NTU report, so far 14 operating companies have suspended services, 6 have definitively ended their activities and 7 have filed for bankruptcy protection.
In addition, 287 outages were recorded in 94 systems. “Most by strikes motivated by delays in wages and benefits, arising from the inability of companies to honor their commitments,” says the yearbook. The area also registered layoffs of 80,537 workers.
The transport sector demands measures for sustainable financing of public transport. THE sheet he outlined the issues affecting the area in the Future of Transport series, published in July 2020.
The document criticizes President Jair Bolsonaro’s veto of R$4 billion in aid to the sector, after the approval of emergency aid to public transport by Congress. “The PL was approved in the Chamber and Senate at the end of 2020, but ended up run over by the electoral process and ended up vetoed by President Jair Bolsonaro, in yet another episode where politics interfered negatively in the larger interests of society”, says the document.