Rio's Pricey Sky Gondola Goes Full Stop

The sky gondola system built prior to the Rio Olympics has ground to a halt, leaving residents of the city's favelas with little to show for such a grand investment in infrastructure.
March 1, 2017, 2pm PST | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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Josh Williams

The multi-million dollar sky gondola system built as part of the massive investment in new infrastructure for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games has stopped operating. The project was originally seen as a boon to the favelas which it travelled over, bringing tourists and investment into the city's poorest communities. Clare Richardson reports in DW.comthat the gondolas fell victim to Brazil's continuing financial troubles.

Many had hoped the Olympic Games would serve as an impetus for Rio to narrow the vast divide between Brazil's ultra-rich and poor by providing informal communities with badly-needed infrastructure. Yet instead of instating or upgrading such services in Complexo do Alemao, Rio removed more than 2,000 residents from their homes to make way for the cable car's construction. [Local activist Thaina de Medeiros] says its route bypasses many major residential areas, suggesting the project was never truly intended to serve the community.

The closure of the gondola system is another blow to the favelas, which have seen an uptick in crime that has helped drive away tourists.

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Published on Friday, February 3, 2017 in DW.com
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