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Brazilian operators face BRL7bn losses

Brazilian metro, light and urban rail systems are expecting losses of over BRL7bn (EUR1.09bn) in 2020.

Brazilian metro, light and urban rail systems are expecting losses of over BRL7bn (EUR1.09bn) in 2020, according to figures from the Brazilian National Association of Passenger Rail Operators (ANPTrilhos). The association says that ridership on the country’s rail, metro and tram services has been at around 50% of pre-pandemic numbers, a reflection of measures introduced to maintain social distancing.

Around 70% of journeys are normally undertaken for work purposes, according to ANPTrilhos President Joubert Flores, and increasing unemployment – coupled with greater home-working – are further affecting numbers. The situation is beginning to improve, with numbers recovering by 27% in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter, which recorded an 84% drop year-on-year.

The impact on revenue is a major concern, with operators experiencing a BRL6.1bn (EUR950m) fall between March and September. This is expected to exceed BRL7bn by the end of December.

ANPTrilhos has repeated its calls for support for the rail sector and is working with national and state governments to develop aid packages to maintain essential services. Legislation has been approved by the house, but is currently stuck in the Senate, with Mr Flores saying that the risk is that the “medicine will arrive after the patient has died.”